Posts Tagged 'fish'

Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the bioenergetics of developing eggs of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus

Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) is a benthic spawner, therefore its eggs are prone to encounter different water conditions during embryonic development, with bottom waters often depleted of oxygen and enriched in CO2. Some Atlantic herring spawning grounds are predicted to be highly affected by ongoing Ocean Acidification and Warming with water temperature increasing by up to +3°C and CO2 levels reaching ca. 1000 μatm (RCP 8.5). Although many studies investigated the effects of high levels of CO2 on the embryonic development of Atlantic herring, little is known about the combination of temperature and ecologically relevant levels of CO2. In this study, we investigated the effects of Ocean Acidification and Warming on embryonic metabolic and developmental performance such as mitochondrial function, respiration, hatching success (HS) and growth in Atlantic herring from the Oslo Fjord, one of the spawning grounds predicted to be greatly affected by climate change. Fertilized eggs were incubated under combinations of two PCO2 conditions (400 μatm and 1100 μatm) and three temperatures (6, 10 and 14°C), which correspond to current and end-of-the-century conditions. We analysed HS, oxygen consumption (MO2) and mitochondrial function of embryos as well as larval length at hatch. The capacity of the electron transport system (ETS) increased with temperature, reaching a plateau at 14°C, where the contribution of Complex I to the ETS declined in favour of Complex II. This relative shift was coupled with a dramatic increase in MO2 at 14°C. HS was high under ambient spawning conditions (6–10°C), but decreased at 14°C and hatched larvae at this temperature were smaller. Elevated PCO2 increased larval malformations, indicating sub-lethal effects. These results indicate that energetic limitations due to thermally affected mitochondria and higher energy demand for maintenance occur at the expense of embryonic development and growth.

Continue reading ‘Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the bioenergetics of developing eggs of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus’

Projected amplification of food web bioaccumulation of MeHg and PCBs under climate change in the Northeastern Pacific

Climate change increases exposure and bioaccumulation of pollutants in marine organisms, posing substantial ecophysiological and ecotoxicological risks. Here, we applied a trophodynamic ecosystem model to examine the bioaccumulation of organic mercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a Northeastern Pacific marine food web under climate change. We found largely heterogeneous sensitivity in climate-pollution impacts between chemicals and trophic groups. Concentration of MeHg and PCBs in top predators, including resident killer whales, is projected to be amplified by 8 and 3%, respectively, by 2100 under a high carbon emission scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5) relative to a no-climate change control scenario. However, the level of amplification increases with higher carbon emission scenario for MeHg, but decreases for PCBs. Such idiosyncratic responses are shaped by the differences in bioaccumulation pathways between MeHg and PCBs, and the modifications of food web dynamics between different levels of climate change. Climate-induced pollutant amplification in mid-trophic level predators (Chinook salmon) are projected to be higher (~10%) than killer whales. Overall, the predicted trophic magnification factor is ten-fold higher in MeHg than in PCBs under high CO2 emissions. This contribution highlights the importance of understanding the interactions with anthropogenic organic pollutants in assessing climate risks on marine ecosystems.

Continue reading ‘Projected amplification of food web bioaccumulation of MeHg and PCBs under climate change in the Northeastern Pacific’

Global change in marine aquaculture production potential under climate change

Climate change is an immediate and future threat to food security globally. The consequences for fisheries and agriculture production potential are well studied, yet the possible outcomes for aquaculture (that is, aquatic farming)—one of the fastest growing food sectors on the planet—remain a major gap in scientific understanding. With over one-third of aquaculture produced in marine waters and this proportion increasing, it is critical to anticipate new opportunities and challenges in marine production under climate change. Here, we model and map the effect of warming ocean conditions (Representative Concentration Pathway scenario 8.5) on marine aquaculture production potential over the next century, based on thermal tolerance and growth data of 180 cultured finfish and bivalve species. We find heterogeneous patterns of gains and losses, but an overall greater probability of declines worldwide. Accounting for multiple drivers of species growth, including shifts in temperature, chlorophyll and ocean acidification, reveals potentially greater declines in bivalve aquaculture compared with finfish production. This study addresses a missing component in food security research and sustainable development planning by identifying regions that will face potentially greater climate change challenges and resilience with regards to marine aquaculture in the coming decades. Understanding the scale and magnitude of future increases and reductions in aquaculture potential is critical for designing effective and efficient use and protection of the oceans, and ultimately for feeding the planet sustainably.

Continue reading ‘Global change in marine aquaculture production potential under climate change’

The effects of carbon dioxide on growth performance, welfare, and health of Atlantic salmon post-smolt (Salmo salar) in recirculating aquaculture systems


• Atlantic salmon post-smolts were exposed to six CO2 concentrations (5–40 mg/L) for 12 weeks in 12 ppt salinity RAS
• Fish showed no mortality, cataracts, nephrocalcinosis or signs of external injuries.
• Skin dermis layer was significantly thinner in fish exposed to 40 mg/L of CO2.
• Body weight and growth were significantly lower at CO2 concentrations ≥12 mg/L.
• Effects of CO2 exposure during the RAS phase were carried over during an additional 6-week experimental period to mimic a seawater phase.


High carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations negatively impact fish, which makes data on its tolerance especially relevant for production systems that can accumulate CO2 such as recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). The current study evaluates the effect of CO2 on the growth performance, welfare, and health of Atlantic salmon post-smolts in RAS. This study consisted of two phases. The first was a CO2 exposure phase, where eighteen tanks were used with six treatments in triplicate: 5, 12, 19, 26, 33 and 40 mg/L of CO2 during 12 weeks in a 12 ppt salinity RAS (hereafter RAS phase). In the second phase, PIT-tagged fish were transferred to a 34 ppt salinity single flow-through tank at CO2 < 5 mg/L (hereafter seawater phase) for an additional 6-week experimental period mimicking a seawater phase. Overall, mortality of fish exposed to CO2 was low and not related to treatments. The mean final body weight was significantly higher in the 5 mg/L treatment compared to CO2 treatments ≥12 mg/L at the end of RAS phase and to CO2 treatments ≥33 mg/L at the end of seawater phase. Moreover, regressions showed that growth significantly decreased linearly with increasing CO2 in the water. Eye cataracts and visible external damage on skin, operculum, and fins were inexistent and similar among CO2 treatments. Kidneys showed no signs of mineral deposits in any of the structures of the tissue. However, skin analysis showed that fish exposed to high CO2 concentrations had a significantly thinner dermis layer (both at the end of RAS and seawater phase) and a significantly thinner epidermis layer and lower mucus cells count (at the end of seawater phase). In conclusion, Atlantic salmon post-smolts cultured in brackish water RAS showed a maximum growth performance at CO2 concentrations below 12 mg/L. Except skin, no major effects of health and welfare were observed, including cataracts and nephrocalcinosis. Further studies should evaluate the molecular and physiological responses to both short-term and long-term carbon dioxide exposure.


Continue reading ‘The effects of carbon dioxide on growth performance, welfare, and health of Atlantic salmon post-smolt (Salmo salar) in recirculating aquaculture systems’

You better repeat it: complex CO2 × temperature effects in Atlantic Silverside offspring revealed by serial experimentation

Concurrent ocean warming and acidification demand experimental approaches that assess biological sensitivities to combined effects of these potential stressors. Here, we summarize five CO2 × temperature experiments on wild Atlantic silverside, Menidia menidia, offspring that were reared under factorial combinations of CO2 (nominal: 400, 2200, 4000, and 6000 µatm) and temperature (17, 20, 24, and 28 °C) to quantify the temperature-dependence of CO2 effects in early life growth and survival. Across experiments and temperature treatments, we found few significant CO2 effects on response traits. Survival effects were limited to a single experiment, where elevated CO2 exposure reduced embryo survival at 17 and 24 °C. Hatch length displayed CO2 × temperature interactions due largely to reduced hatch size at 24 °C in one experiment but increased length at 28 °C in another. We found no overall influence of CO2 on larval growth or survival to 9, 10, 15 and 13–22 days post-hatch, at 28, 24, 20, and 17 °C, respectively. Importantly, exposure to cooler (17 °C) and warmer (28 °C) than optimal rearing temperatures (24 °C) in this species did not appear to increase CO2 sensitivity. Repeated experimentation documented substantial inter- and intra-experiment variability, highlighting the need for experimental replication to more robustly constrain inherently variable responses. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the early life stages of this ecologically important forage fish appear largely tolerate to even extreme levels of CO2 across a broad thermal regime.

Continue reading ‘You better repeat it: complex CO2 × temperature effects in Atlantic Silverside offspring revealed by serial experimentation’

Interactive effects of ocean acidification and ocean warming on Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) early life stages

The synergy of ocean acidification and ocean warming may lead to negative effects in  marine organism responses that would be absent under single stressors. While adult fish are  effective acid-base regulators, early life stages may be more susceptible to environmental  stressors. Pacific herring are ecologically and economically important forage fish native to the  U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW), and several herring populations in the PNW have experienced reductions in stock abundance. Studies to date have focused on Atlantic herring, and little is  known about the response of Pacific herring to ocean acidification and warming. Therefore, this  study focused on the combined effects of ocean acidification and warming on Pacific herring early life stages. We incubated Pacific herring embryos under a factorial design of two  temperature (10°C, 16°C) and two pCO2 (600 µatm, 1200 µatm) treatments from fertilization  until hatch (11 to 15 days depending on temperature). Elevated pCO2 was associated with a small increase in embryo mortality. However, elevated temperature was associated with greater  embryo mortality, greater embryo heart rates and yolk areas upon hatch, lower percent normal hatch, and decreased larval lengths. The interaction of elevated temperature and pCO2 was associated greater embryo respiration rates and yolk areas. This study indicates that temperature will likely be the primary global change stressor affecting Pacific herring embryology, and interactive effects with pCO2 may introduce additional challenges.
Continue reading ‘Interactive effects of ocean acidification and ocean warming on Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) early life stages’

Opportunities for climate‐risk reduction through effective fisheries management

Risk of impact of marine fishes to fishing and climate change (including ocean acidification) depend on the species’ ecological and biological characteristics, as well as their exposure to over‐exploitation and climate hazards. These human‐induced hazards should be considered concurrently in conservation risk assessment. In this study, we aim to examine the combined contributions of climate change and fishing to the risk of impacts of exploited fishes, and the scope for climate‐risk reduction from fisheries management. We combine fuzzy logic expert system with species distribution modeling to assess the extinction risks of climate and fishing impacts of 825 exploited marine fish species across the global ocean. We compare our calculated risk index with extinction risk of marine species assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Our results show that 60% (499 species) of the assessed species are projected to experience very high risk from both overfishing and climate change under a “business‐as‐usual” scenario (RCP 8.5 with current status of fisheries) by 2050. The risk index is significantly and positively related to level of IUCN extinction risk (ordinal logistic regression, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, the regression model predicts species with very high risk index would have at least one in five (>20%) chance of having high extinction risk in the next few decades (equivalent to the IUCN categories of vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered). Areas with more at‐risk species to climate change are in tropical and subtropical oceans, while those that are at risk to fishing are distributed more broadly, with higher concentration of at‐risk species in North Atlantic and South Pacific Ocean. The number of species with high extinction risk would decrease by 63% under the sustainable fisheries‐low emission scenario relative to the “business‐as‐usual” scenario. This study highlights the substantial opportunities for climate‐risk reduction through effective fisheries management.

Continue reading ‘Opportunities for climate‐risk reduction through effective fisheries management’

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,113,504 hits


Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book