Posts Tagged 'mollusks'



Combined effects of ocean acidification and hypoxia on the early development of the thick shell mussel Mytilus coruscus

Ocean acidification has become serious, and seawater hypoxia has become evident in acidified waters. The combination of such stressors may have interactive effects on the fitness of marine organisms. In order to investigate the interactive effects of seawater acidification and hypoxia on the early development of marine bivalves, the eggs and sperm of the thick shell mussel Mytilus coruscus were exposed to combined treatments of pH (8.1, 7.7, 7.3) and dissolved oxygen (2, 6 mg/L) for 96 h culture observation to investigate the interactive effects of seawater acidification and hypoxia on the early development of marine bivalves. Results showed that acidification and hypoxia had significant negative effects on various parameters of the early development of the thick shell mussel. However, hypoxia had no effect on fertilization rate. Significant interactions between acidification and hypoxia were observed during the experiment. Short-term exposure negatively influenced the early development of the thick shell mussel but did not affect its survival. The effects of long-term exposure to these two environmental stresses need further study.

Continue reading ‘Combined effects of ocean acidification and hypoxia on the early development of the thick shell mussel Mytilus coruscus’

Linking energy budget to physiological adaptation: how a calcifying gastropod adjusts or succumbs to ocean acidification and warming

Highlights

• Energetics and shell properties of gastropods were measured under future climate.

• Ocean warming increased the feeding rate and hence energy budget of gastropods.

• The boosted energy budget was linked to increased shell growth and shell strength.

• Ocean acidification caused these positive effects of warming to become negative.

• Energy budget determined the adjustability of shell building process in calcifiers.

Abstract

Accelerating CO2 emissions have driven physico-chemical changes in the world’s oceans, such as ocean acidification and warming. How marine organisms adjust or succumb to such environmental changes may be determined by their ability to balance energy intake against expenditure (i.e. energy budget) as energy supports physiological functions, including those with adaptive value. Here, we examined whether energy budget is a driver of physiological adaptability of marine calcifiers to the near-future ocean acidification and warming; i.e. how physiological energetics (respiration rate, feeding rate, energy assimilation and energy budget) relates to adjustments in shell growth and shell properties of a calcifying gastropod (Austrocochlea concamerata). We found that ocean warming boosted the energy budget of gastropods due to increased feeding rate, resulting in faster shell growth and greater shell strength (i.e. more mechanically resilient). When combined with ocean acidification, however, the gastropods had a substantial decrease in energy budget due to reduced feeding rate and energy assimilation, leading to the reduction in shell growth and shell strength. By linking energy budget to the adjustability of shell building, we revealed that energy availability is critical to determine the physiological adaptability of marine calcifiers to the changing oceanic climate.

Continue reading ‘Linking energy budget to physiological adaptation: how a calcifying gastropod adjusts or succumbs to ocean acidification and warming’

Biogenic acidification of Portuguese oyster Magallana angulata mariculture can be mediated through introducing brown seaweed Sargassum hemiphyllum

Highlights

• Monoculture of oysters produces excess CO2, affecting carbon fluxes.

• Seaweed can eliminate CO2 released by oysters.

• Multi-trophic culture of oysters and seaweed can mitigate oysters monoculture negative impacts.

Abstract

The physiological responses of aquaculture organisms (e.g., oyster and seaweed) have the potential to affect seawater carbon fluxes and subsequently are affected by these seawater changes. In this study, a laboratory experiment and a field mesocosm experiment were carried out in Daya Bay, southern China. In the laboratory experiment, Portuguese oyster Magallana angulata and the brown seaweed Sargassum hemiphyllum were mono-cultured in 20-L transparent glass bottles for 24 h. Water sample were collected at four incubation time points (i.e. 0 h, 4 h, 12 h and 24 h) to examine their physiological responses across the incubation period. The results showed that the oyster calcification rate was not significantly changed among 4 h, 12 h and 24 h. On the other hand, during the 24 h incubation time, the oyster respiration rate, seawater pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), and CO32– concentration were significantly declined, but the seawater CO2 concentration was increased. For the seaweed, from 0 h to 12 h, seawater CO2 and HCO3– concentrations were significantly declined. However, the seawater pH and DO concentration were increased. In the field experiment, oyster and seaweed were cultured in mesocosm bags. The effects of different culture models of M. angulata and S. hemiphyllum (i.e. oyster monoculture, seaweed monoculture and oyster-seaweed co-culture) on seawater CO2‑carbonate system and air-sea CO2 flux (FCO2) were investigated after 24 h incubation. The results showed that DIC, HCO3– and CO2 concentrations and the partial pressure of CO2 in co-culture bags were significantly lower than the control bags (without any culture organisms) and oyster bags, indicated that S. hemiphyllum can effectively absorb the CO2 released by the oysters. The negative values of air-sea FCO2 in the co-culture bags represent a CO2 sink from the atmosphere to the sea. These results demonstrated that aquaculture organism monoculture could result in a stress for itself, and there could be an interspecies mutual benefit for both M. angulata and S. hemiphyllum in the co-culture system. The negative environmental impacts of mono-trophic oyster aquaculture in this view could be mediated with the multi-trophic inclusion of seaweed.

Continue reading ‘Biogenic acidification of Portuguese oyster Magallana angulata mariculture can be mediated through introducing brown seaweed Sargassum hemiphyllum’

Sperm motility impairment in free spawning invertebrates under near-future level of ocean acidification: uncovering the mechanism

Ocean acidification (OA) refers to the decrease in ocean water pH resulting from the increasing absorption of atmospheric CO2. This will cause changes in the ocean’s carbonate chemistry system with a resulting impact on reproduction of marine organisms. Reproduction is the fundamental process that allows the conservation of the species; in free-spawning marine invertebrates, this process is highly sensitive to changes in seawater quality and chemistry. To date, the majority of the studies concerned OA effects on reproduction has been focused on embryo and larval development. Despite several evidence for the impairment of reproductive success by environmental perturbations through altering gamete quality, sperm physiological responses to OA are poorly investigated. In this study, we evaluated the effects of exposure to acidified seawater (AcSW) (pH 7.8), which approximate the predicted global averages for oceanic surface waters at the end of this century, on sperm quality of the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the ascidian Ciona robusta by evaluating several endpoints, such as motility, vitality, mitochondrial activity, oxidative state, and intracellular pH (pHi). Following sperm exposure to AcSW, the percentage of motile spermatozoa, mitochondrial activity and pHi decreased in comparison to the current seawater pH of 8.1, whereas vitality and oxidative state were unaffected by the low external pH in both the species. In broadcast spawners, a relationship between sperm intracellular pH and the initiation of motility are well known. Spermatozoa are immotile in the testes and motility is induced after the spermatozoa are released into seawater; the alkaline pH of seawater, in fact, increases the pHi activating motility and mitochondrial respiration. The results of this study suggest that the lowering of seawater pH as predicted to occur for 2100, through the inhibition of pHi increase, prevent sperm motility activation. Sperm motility is a key determinant of fertilization success; consequently, a corresponding drop in fertilization success would be expected with important implications for the fitness and the survival of marine invertebrates.

Continue reading ‘Sperm motility impairment in free spawning invertebrates under near-future level of ocean acidification: uncovering the mechanism’

Genome-wide identification, characterization of RLR genes in Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis) and functional regulations in responses to ocean acidification

Highlights

• Four RLR family members were identified in Patinopecten yessoensis genome.

• Phylogenetic analysis confirmed duplication and evolutionary relationship of PyRLRs.

• Spatiotemporal expression patterns suggested the functional roles of PyRLRs.

• Constitutive and inducible divergence of PyRLRs has been arisen to the immune stress.

• The four PyRLRs showed functional differentiations in response to OA.

Abstract

Retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptors (RLRs), are crucial sensors with a conserved structure in cytoplasm, inducing the production of cytokines, chemokines and host restriction factors which mediate a variety of intracellular activities to interfere with distinct PAMPs (pathogen-associated molecular patterns) for eliminating pathogens in innate immune system. Although RLR genes have been investigated in most vertebrates and some invertebrates, the systematic identification and characterization of RLR genes have not been reported in scallops. In this study, four RLR genes (PY-10413.4, PY-10413.5, PY-443.7 and PY-443.8, designated PyRLRs) were identified in Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis) through whole-genome scanning through in silico analysis, including two pairs of tandem duplicate genes located on the same scaffold (PY-10413.4 and PY-10413.5, PY-443.7 and PY-443.8, respectively). Phylogenetic and protein structural analyses were performed to determine the identities and evolutionary relationships of these genes. The expression profiles of PyRLRs were determined in all developmental stages, in healthy adult tissues, and in mantles that simulated ocean acidification (OA) exposure (pH = 6.5 and 7.5) at different time points (3, 6, 12 and 24 h). Spatiotemporal expression patterns suggested the functional roles of PyRLRs in all stages of development and growth of the scallop. Regulation expressions revealed PY-10413.4 and PY-10413.5 with one or two CARD(s) (caspase activation and recruitment domain) were up-regulated expressed at most time points, whereas PY-443.8 and PY-10413.4 without CARD were significantly down-regulated at each time points, suggesting functional differentiations in the two pairs of PyRLRs based on the structural differences in response to OA. Collectively, this study demonstrated gene duplication of RLR family genes and provide primary analysis for versatile roles in the response of the bivalve innate immune system to OA challenge.

Continue reading ‘Genome-wide identification, characterization of RLR genes in Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis) and functional regulations in responses to ocean acidification’

Clam feeding plasticity reduces herbivore vulnerability to ocean warming and acidification

Ocean warming and acidification affect species populations, but how interactions within communities are affected and how this translates into ecosystem functioning and resilience remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that experimental ocean warming and acidification significantly alters the interaction network among porewater nutrients, primary producers, herbivores and burrowing invertebrates in a seafloor sediment community, and is linked to behavioural plasticity in the clam Scrobicularia plana. Warming and acidification induced a shift in the clam’s feeding mode from predominantly suspension feeding under ambient conditions to deposit feeding with cascading effects on nutrient supply to primary producers. Surface-dwelling invertebrates were more tolerant to warming and acidification in the presence of S. plana, most probably due to the stimulatory effect of the clam on their microalgal food resources. This study demonstrates that predictions of population resilience to climate change require consideration of non-lethal effects such as behavioural changes of key species.

Continue reading ‘Clam feeding plasticity reduces herbivore vulnerability to ocean warming and acidification’

Intra-specific variation of ocean acidification effects in marine mussels and oysters: integrative physiological studies on tissue and organism responses

Uptake of increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions by ocean surface waters is causing an increase of seawater PCO2 accompanied by a decrease of seawater pH and carbonate ion concentrations. This process, termed ocean acidification (OA), is predicted to negatively affect many marine organisms with likely consequences for marine ecosystems and the services they provide. Calcifying mussels and oysters, and particularly their early life stages, are predicted to be among the most OA sensitive taxa, as OA interferes with the calcification process. In addition, mussels and oysters possess a relatively low ability to compensate for CO2 induced disturbances in extracellular body fluid pH with potential physiological downstream effects such as elevated metabolic maintenance costs. As mussels and oysters are key habitat forming organisms in many highly productive temperate coastal communities, negative OA effects may translate into deleterious effects at an ecosystem scale. In particular, the relative long generation time of most marine bivalves raises the concern that the rapid rate at which OA occurs may outpace species’ ability to genetically adapt, leaving pre-existing genetic variation as a potential key to species resilience under OA. Against this backdrop, this thesis contributes to the understanding of physiological mechanisms that underpin and define the OA vulnerability of ecologically and economically important mussels and oysters. Thereby, emphasis was placed on investigating intra-specific variance as a proxy for potential adaptive capacities. Kiel Fjord is located in the Western Baltic Sea and is characterised by strong seasonal and diurnal fluctuations in seawater PCO2. These fluctuations are caused by upwelling events of acidified bottom waters with peak PCO2 values (>2300 μatm) that are already by far exceeding those projected for open ocean surface waters by the end of this century. Despite these unfavourable conditions, blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) dominate the benthic community, which makes this population particularly interesting in the context of metabolic adaptation to OA. Consequently, a long-term multi-generation CO2 acclimation experiment with different family lines of M. edulis from Kiel Fjord formed the first part of this thesis. Offspring of 16 different family lines were transferred to three different PCO2 conditions, representing present and predicted PCO2 levels in Kiel Fjord (700 μatm (control), 1120 μatm (intermediate) and 2400 μatm (high)). Larval survival rates were substantially different between family lines at the highest PCO2 level. Based on these differences, families were classified as either ‘tolerant’ (i.e. successful settlement at all PCO2 levels) or ‘sensitive’ (i.e. successful settlement only at control and intermediate PCO2 level). Subsequently, the offspring were raised for over one year at respective PCO2 levels, followed by measurements of physiological parameters at the whole-animal, tissue (gill and outer mantle) and biochemical level (key metabolic enzymes). The results revealed that routine metabolic rates (RMR) and summed tissue respiration were increased in tolerant families at intermediate PCO2, indicating elevated homeostatic costs. However, this higher energy demand at the intermediate PCO2 level was not accompanied by a simultaneous increase in energy assimilation (i.e. clearance rates (CR)), indicating an incipient imbalance in energy demand and supply. Consequently, RMRs at the highest PCO2 were not different to control RMRs but associated with reduced CRs, which correlated with a lower gill metabolic scope, reduced gill mitochondrial capacities (lower capacities for citrate synthase (CS) and cytochrome c oxidase (COX)) as well as an increased capacity for anaerobic energy production (lower ratio of pyruvate kinase to phospoenolpyruvate carboxykinase). In conjunction with a lower COX to CS ratio observed in outer mantle tissue, this suggested a CO2-induced shift of metabolic pathways in tolerant families at the highest PCO2 level. By contrast, sensitive families had an unchanged RMR, tissue respiration and CR at the intermediate CO2. However, a higher control RMR in sensitive than tolerant families at similar CR suggested a lower, CO2 independent metabolic efficiency in sensitive families. This was also reflected in their lower gill mitochondrial scope at control conditions compared to tolerant families. These findings suggested that sensitive families lack the metabolic scope to cover OA induced higher maintenance costs and have to rely on energy reallocation and thus, energy trade-offs which may also have prevented survival at the highest experimental PCO2 level. Accordingly, investigations of 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (HADH) capacities, which catalyses a key step in lipid oxidation, suggested an increased reliance on lipids as metabolic fuel in sensitive families at elevated PCO2. If this was also prevalent during the larval phase, a quicker depletion of lipid reserves before completion of metamorphosis may have contributed to the higher larval mortality at the highest PCO2 treatment in sensitive compared to tolerant mussels. The second part of the thesis aimed to clarify whether a higher OA tolerance in Sydney rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata) is directly correlated with an increased capacity to compensate for CO2 induced extracellular acid-base disturbances, and whether such a capacity is driven by higher metabolic and ion-regulatory costs at the tissue level. Earlier studies focusing on two different populations of Sydney rock oysters demonstrated that oysters that were selectively bred for increased growth and disease resistance (‘selected oysters’) have a higher CO2 resilience compared to the wild population (‘wild oysters’). To unravel the underlying physiological mechanisms, oysters of both populations were acclimated at control and elevated PCO2 (1100 μatm) levels for seven weeks, followed by determinations of extracellular acidbase parameters (pHe, PeCO2, [HCO3 -]e), tissue respiration and indirect determination of energy demands of major ion regulatory transport proteins. Indeed, at elevated PCO2, wild oysters had a lower pHe and an increased PeCO2 whereas extracellular acid-base status of selected oysters remained unaffected. However, differing pHe values between oyster types were not driven by elevated metabolic costs of major ion regulators at tissue level. Selected oysters rather exhibited an increased systemic capacity to eliminate metabolic CO2, which likely came through higher and energetically more efficient filtration rates and associated facilitation of gas exchange, suggesting that effective filtration and CO2 resilience might be positively correlated traits in oysters. In conclusion, the findings of this thesis contribute to the growing evidence that ongoing OA will likely impair the physiology of marine mussels and oysters with potentially associated downstream consequences for the respective ecosystems. However, the results also suggest adaptive capacities in both species studied. The higher CO2 resilience of selected Sydney rock oysters was expressed within the – in evolutionary terms – rapid time span of only a few generations of selective breeding, which indicates that rapid adaptation to OA may be possible in marine bivalves. The observed intra-specific variation of OA responses in blue mussels suggests standing genetic variation within this population, which is likely to be key for the persistence of populations under rapidly occurring OA. However, as global change is not limited to OA, future research will have to reassess potential resilience traits and adaptive capacities to OA when combined with changes in other environmental drivers.

Continue reading ‘Intra-specific variation of ocean acidification effects in marine mussels and oysters: integrative physiological studies on tissue and organism responses’


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