Posts Tagged 'mollusks'

Calcification in a marginal sea – influence of seawater [Ca2+] and carbonate chemistry on bivalve shell formation (update)

In estuarine coastal systems such as the Baltic Sea, mussels suffer from low salinity which limits their distribution. Anthropogenic climate change is expected to cause further desalination which will lead to local extinctions of mussels in the low saline areas. It is commonly accepted that mussel distribution is limited by osmotic stress. However, along the salinity gradient, environmental conditions for biomineralization are successively becoming more adverse as a result of reduced [Ca2+] and dissolved inorganic carbon (CT) availability. In larvae, calcification is an essential process starting during early development with formation of the prodissoconch I (PD I) shell, which is completed under optimal conditions within 2 days.

Experimental manipulations of seawater [Ca2+] start to impair PD I formation in Mytilus larvae at concentrations below 3 mM, which corresponds to conditions present in the Baltic at salinities below 8 g kg−1. In addition, lowering dissolved inorganic carbon to critical concentrations (< 1 mM) similarly affected PD I size, which was well correlated with calculated ΩAragonite and [Ca2+] [HCO3] ∕ [H+]in all treatments. Comparing results for larvae from the western Baltic with a population from the central Baltic revealed a significantly higher tolerance of PD I formation to lowered [Ca2+] and [Ca2+] [HCO3−] ∕ [H+][H+] in the low saline adapted population. This may result from genetic adaptation to the more adverse environmental conditions prevailing in the low saline areas of the Baltic.

The combined effects of lowered [Ca2+] and adverse carbonate chemistry represent major limiting factors for bivalve calcification and can thereby contribute to distribution limits of mussels in the Baltic Sea.

Continue reading ‘Calcification in a marginal sea – influence of seawater [Ca2+] and carbonate chemistry on bivalve shell formation (update)’

Shifting balance of protein synthesis and degradation sets a threshold for larval growth under environmental stress

Exogenous environmental factors alter growth rates, yet information remains scant on the biochemical mechanisms and energy trade-offs that underlie variability in the growth of marine invertebrates. Here we study the biochemical bases for differential growth and energy utilization (as adenosine triphosphate [ATP] equivalents) during larval growth of the bivalve Crassostrea gigas exposed to increasing levels of experimental ocean acidification (control, middle, and high pCO2, corresponding to ∼400, ∼800, and ∼1100 µatm, respectively). Elevated pCO2 hindered larval ability to accrete both shell and whole-body protein content. This negative impact was not due to an inability to synthesize protein per se, because size-specific rates of protein synthesis were upregulated at both middle and high pCO2 treatments by as much as 45% relative to control pCO2. Rather, protein degradation rates increased with increasing pCO2. At control pCO2, 89% of cellular energy (ATP equivalents) utilization was accounted for by just 2 processes in larvae, with protein synthesis accounting for 66% and sodium-potassium transport accounting for 23%. The energetic demand necessitated by elevated protein synthesis rates could be accommodated either by reallocating available energy from within the existing ATP pool or by increasing the production of total ATP. The former strategy was observed at middle pCO2, while the latter strategy was observed at high pCO2. Increased pCO2 also altered sodium-potassium transport, but with minimal impact on rates of ATP utilization relative to the impact observed for protein synthesis. Quantifying the actual energy costs and trade-offs for maintaining physiological homeostasis in response to stress will help to reveal the mechanisms of resilience thresholds to environmental change.

Continue reading ‘Shifting balance of protein synthesis and degradation sets a threshold for larval growth under environmental stress’

Gastropod shell dissolution as a tool for biomonitoring marine acidification, with reference to coastal geochemical discharge

Marine water pH is becoming progressively reduced in response to atmospheric CO2 elevation. Considering that marine environments support a vast global biodiversity and provide a variety of ecosystem functions and services, monitoring of the coastal and intertidal water pH assumes obvious significance. Because current monitoring approaches using meters and loggers are typically limited in application in heterogeneous environments and are financially prohibitive, we sought to evaluate an approach to acidification biomonitoring using living gastropod shells. We investigated snail populations exposed naturally to corrosive water in Brunei (Borneo, South East Asia). We show that surface erosion features of shells are generally more sensitive to acidic water exposure than other attributes (shell mass) in a study of rocky-shore snail populations (Nerita chamaeleon) exposed to greater or lesser coastal geochemical acidification (acid sulphate soil seepage, ASS), by virtue of their spatial separation. We develop a novel digital approach to measuring the surface area of shell erosion. Surficial shell erosion of a muddy-sediment estuarine snail, Umbonium vestiarium, is shown to capture variation in acidic water exposure for the timeframe of a decade. Shell dissolution in Neripteron violaceum from an extremely acidic estuarine habitat, directly influenced by ASS inflows, was high variable among individuals. In conclusion, gastropod shell dissolution potentially provides a powerful and cost-effective tool for rapidly assessing marine pH change across a range of spatial and temporal frameworks and coastal intertidal environments. We discuss caveats when interpreting gastropod shell dissolution patterns.

Continue reading ‘Gastropod shell dissolution as a tool for biomonitoring marine acidification, with reference to coastal geochemical discharge’

Relationship between mineralogy and minor element partitioning in limpets from the Ischia CO2 vent site provides new insights into their biomineralization pathway

It has long since been noted that minor element (Me) partitioning into biogenic carbonates is sometimes different from Me partitioning into inorganically precipitated carbonates. The prime example is the partitioning coefficient, which might be lower or even higher than the one of inorganically precipitated carbonate. Such a difference is usually termed “vital effect” and is seen as indicative of a biologically modified minor element partitioning. Over the last three decades interest in conceptual biomineralization models compatible with minor element and isotope fractionation has been steadily increasing. However, inferring features of a biomineralization mechanism from Me partitioning is complicated, because not all partitioning coefficients show vital effects in every calcium carbonate producing organism. Moreover, the partitioning coefficient is not the only aspect of Me partitioning. Other aspects include polymorph specificity and rate dependence. Patellogastropod limpets are ideally suited for analysing Me partitioning in terms of biomineralization models, because they feature both aragonitic and calcitic shell parts, so that polymorph specificity can be tested. In this study, polymorph-specific partitioning of the minor elements Mg, Li, B, Sr, and U into shells of the patellogastropod limpet Patella caerulea from within and outside a CO2 vent site at Ischia (Italy) was investigated by means of LA-ICP-MS. The partitioning coefficients of U, B, Mg, and Sr (in aragonite) differed from the respective inorganic ones, while the partitioning coefficients of Li and Sr (in calcite) fell within the range of published values for inorganically precipitated carbonates. Polymorph specificity of Me partitioning was explicable in terms of inorganic precipitation in the case of Sr and Mg, but not Li and B. Seawater carbon chemistry did not have the effect on B partitioning that was expected on the basis of data on inorganic precipitates and foraminifera. Carbon chemistry did affect Mg (in aragonite) and Li, but only the effect on Mg was explicable in terms of calcification rate. On the one hand, these results show that Me partitioning in P. caerulea is incompatible with a direct precipitation of shell calcium carbonate from the extrapallial fluid. On the other hand, our results are compatible with precipitation from a microenvironment formed by the mantle. Such a microenvironment was proposed based on data other than Me partitioning. This is the first study which systematically employs a multi-element, multi-aspect approach to test the compatibility of Me partitioning with different conceptual biomineralization models.

Continue reading ‘Relationship between mineralogy and minor element partitioning in limpets from the Ischia CO2 vent site provides new insights into their biomineralization pathway’

The detrimental effects of CO2-driven chronic acidification on juvenile Pacific abalone (Haliotis discus hannai)

To test the effects of chronic stress caused by CO2-driven decreases in pH (NBS scale) on molluscs, juvenile Pacific abalone (Haliotis discus hannai), an economically important gastropod, were cultured at pH 8.1 (control), pH 7.9 or 7.7 for 3 months. Eroded shell surfaces, reduced growth rates, and altered biochemical composition and energy metabolism were found in abalone cultured in acidified conditions. Glycogen contents and crude lipid contents were significantly higher in the muscle of abalone from the control treatments than in those from the pH 7.7 treatment, indicating that allocation of tissue energy storage was altered by chronic acidification. The ratio of the oxygen consumption rate to the ammonia excretion rate (O:N ratio) of individuals cultured at two acidified treatments decreased significantly compared with the controls, suggesting a decreased use of body lipid and carbohydrates as a metabolic substrate under chronic acidified conditions. Chronic acidification had detrimental effects on the physiological activity of the Pacific abalone; however, the ability to acclimate varied among individuals. A minority of tested animals incubated at acidified conditions exhibited undiminished performance. The Pacific abalone may face severe challenges in the near future, but they may also hold considerable ability to acclimate to ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘The detrimental effects of CO2-driven chronic acidification on juvenile Pacific abalone (Haliotis discus hannai)’

Elevated seawater temperature, not pCO2, negatively affects post-spawning adult mussels (Mytilus edulis) under food limitation

Pre-spawning blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) appear sensitive to elevated temperature and robust to elevated pCO2; however, the effects of these stressors soon after investing energy into spawning remain unknown. Furthermore, while studies suggest that elevated pCO2 affects the byssal attachment strength of Mytilus trossulus from southern latitudes, pCO2 and temperature impacts on the byssus strength of other species at higher latitudes remain undocumented. In a 90 day laboratory experiment, we exposed post-spawning adult blue mussels (M. edulis) from Atlantic Canada to three pCO2 levels (pCO2 ~625, 1295 and 2440 μatm) at two different temperatures (16°C and 22°C) and assessed energetic reserves on Day 90, byssal attachment strength on Days 30 and 60, and condition index and mortality on Days 30, 60 and 90. Results indicated that glycogen content was negatively affected under elevated temperature, but protein, lipid, and overall energy content were unaffected. Reduced glycogen content under elevated temperature was associated with reduced condition index, reduced byssal thread attachment strength, and increased mortality; elevated pCO2 had no effects. Overall, these results suggest that the glycogen reserves of post-spawning adult M. edulis are sensitive to elevated temperature, and can result in reduced health and byssal attachment strength, leading to increased mortality. These results are similar to those reported for pre-spawning mussels and suggest that post-spawning blue mussels are tolerant to elevated pCO2 and sensitive to elevated temperature. In contrast to previous studies, however, elevated pCO2 did not affect byssus strength, suggesting that negative effects of elevated pCO2 on byssus strength are not universal.

Continue reading ‘Elevated seawater temperature, not pCO2, negatively affects post-spawning adult mussels (Mytilus edulis) under food limitation’

Ocean acidification responses in paralarval squid swimming behavior using a novel 3D tracking system

Chronic embryonic exposure to ocean acidification (OA) has been shown to degrade the aragonitic statolith of paralarval squid, Doryteuthis pealeii, a key structure for their swimming behavior. This study examined if day-of-hatching paralarval D. pealeii from eggs reared under chronic OA demonstrated measurable impairments to swimming activity and control. This required the development of a novel, cost-effective, and robust method for 3D motion tracking and analysis. Squid eggs were reared in pCO2 levels in a dose-dependent manner ranging from 400 to 2200 ppm. Initial 2D experiments showed paralarvae in higher acidification environments spent more time at depth. In 3D experiments, velocity, particularly positive and negative vertical velocities, significantly decreased from 400 to 1000 ppm pCO2, but showed non-significant decreases at higher concentrations. Activity and horizontal velocity decreased linearly with increasing pCO2, indicating a subtle impact to paralarval energetics. Patterns may have been obscured by notable individual variability in the paralarvae. Responses were also seen to vary between trials on cohort or potentially annual scales. Overall, paralarval swimming appeared resilient to OA, with effects being slight. The newly developed 3D tracking system provides a powerful and accessible method for future studies to explore similar questions in the larvae of aquatic taxa.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification responses in paralarval squid swimming behavior using a novel 3D tracking system’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book