Posts Tagged 'toxicants'

Sex and gametogenesis stage are strong drivers of gene expression in Mytilus edulis exposed to environmentally relevant plasticiser levels and pH 7.7

Plastic pollution and changes in oceanic pH are both pressing environmental issues. Little emphasis, however, has been placed on the influence of sex and gametogenesis stage when investigating the effects of such stressors. Here, we examined histology and molecular biomarkers of blue mussels Mytilus edulis exposed for 7 days to a pH 7.7 scenario (− 0.4 units) in combination with environmentally relevant concentrations (0, 0.5 and 50 µg/L) of the endocrine disrupting plasticiser di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP). Through a factorial design, we investigated the gametogenesis cycle and sex-related expression of genes involved in pH homeostasis, stress response and oestrogen receptor-like pathways after the exposure to the two environmental stressors. As expected, we found sex-related differences in the proportion of developing, mature and spawning gonads in histological sections. Male gonads also showed higher levels of the acid–base regulator CA2, but females had a higher expression of stress response-related genes (i.e. sodcathsp70). We found a significant effect of DEHP on stress response-related gene expression that was dependent on the gametogenesis stage, but there was only a trend towards downregulation of CA2 in response to pH 7.7. In addition, differences in gene expression between males and females were most pronounced in experimental conditions containing DEHP and/or acidified pH but never the control, indicating that it is important to consider sex and gametogenesis stage when studying the response of mussels to diverse stressors.

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Intestinal microbiota perturbations in the gastropod Trochus niloticus concurrently exposed to ocean acidification and environmentally relevant concentrations of sulfamethoxazole

Graphical abstract.

Highlights

  • Exposure to OA leads to the microbiota dysbiosis in the intestine of T. niloticus.
  • Exposure to SMX barely affected the intestinal microbiota of T. niloticus.
  • Exposure to SMX accelerated spread of sulfonamide ARGs.

Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) and antibiotic pollution pose severe threats to the fitness of keystone species in marine ecosystems. However, the combined effects of OA and antibiotic pollution on the intestinal microbiota of marine organisms are still not well known. In this study, we exposed the herbivorous gastropod Trochus niloticus, a keystone species to maintains the stability of coral reef ecosystems, to acidic seawater (pH 7.6) and/or sulfamethoxazole (SMX, 100 ng/L, 1000 ng/L) for 28 days and determined their impacts on (1) the accumulation of SMX in the intestine of T. niloticus; (2) the characteristics of the intestinal microbiota in T. niloticus; (3) the relative abundances of sulfonamide resistance genes (i.e., sul1 and sul2) and intI1 in the intestinal microbiota of T. niloticus. Our results show that OA exposure leads to dramatic microbiota dysbiosis in the intestine of T. niloticus, including changes in bacterial community diversity and structure, decreased abundances of dominant species, existences of characteristic taxa, and altered functional predictions. In addition, SMX exposure at environmentally relevant concentrations had little effect on the intestinal microbiota of T. niloticus, whether in isolation or in combination with OA. However, after exposure to the higher SMX concentration (1000 ng/L), the accumulation of SMX in the intestine of T. niloticus could induce an increase in the copies of sul2 in the intestinal microbiota. These results suggest that the intestinal health of T. niloticus might be affected by OA and SMX, which might lead to fitness loss of the keystone species in coral reef ecosystems.

Continue reading ‘Intestinal microbiota perturbations in the gastropod Trochus niloticus concurrently exposed to ocean acidification and environmentally relevant concentrations of sulfamethoxazole’

Could acidified environments intensify illicit drug effects on the reproduction of marine mussels?

The increasing oceanic uptake is a direct response to the increasing atmospheric burden of CO2. Oceans are experiencing both physical and biogeochemical changes. This increase in CO2 hosts in oceans promotes changes in pH and seawater chemistry that can modify the speciation of compounds, largely due to dependent element speciation on physicochemical parameters (salinity, pH, and redox potential). So, ocean acidification can trigger enhanced toxicity of illicit drugs to non-target marine organisms due to the combined effects of crack cocaine and low pH (from 8.3 to 7.0 pH values) on the reproduction of the marine mussel Perna perna. Fertilization rate and embryo–larval development were used as endpoints to assess the effects of crack-cocaine concentrations (6.25, 12.5, 25, 50, and 100 mg L−1) and its association with pH values variation (8.3, 8.0, 7.5, and 7.0). The IC50 was calculated from the results of an embryo–larval assay in different methods of acidification (CO2 and HCl), which evidenced that HCl treatment was more toxic than CO2 treatment for the same drug concentrations. Results showed that the gametes of P. perna react to acidification when exposed to crack-cocaine concentration and pH reductions.

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pCO2-driven seawater acidification affects aqueous-phase copper toxicity in juvenile flounder Paralichthys olivaceus: metal accumulation, antioxidant defenses and biodetoxification in livers

Graphical abstract.

Highlights

  • SA and Cu interact during hepatic antioxidant defenses and biodetoxification.
  • Moderate SA helps alleviate Cu exposure-induced LPO, but extreme SA exacerbates it.
  • Thiols respond actively to cope with Cu toxicity in acidified seawater.
  • SOD, CAT, EROD and GST sensitively respond to SA and Cu coexposure.
  • Pearson’s correlation coefficient and PCA usefully integrate biomarker responses.

Abstract

Ocean acidification potentially influences the biotoxicity of metals and the antioxidant defense systems of marine organisms. This study investigated how pCO2-driven seawater acidification (SA) affected aqueous-phase copper (Cu) toxicity in the juvenile flounder Paralichthys olivaceus from the perspective of hepatic oxidative stress and damage to better understand the mechanisms underlying the biological effects produced by the two stressors. Fish were exposed to aqueous-phase Cu at relevant ambient and polluted concentrations (0, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 200 μg L−1) at different pH levels (no SA: pH 8.10; moderate SA: pH 7.70, pCO2 ∼1353.89 μatm; extreme SA: pH 7.30, pCO2 ∼3471.27 μatm) for 28 days. A battery of biomarkers in the livers was examined to investigate their roles in antioxidant defense and biodetoxification in response to coexposure. Hepatic Cu accumulation (30.22–184.90 mg kg−1) was positively correlated with Cu concentrations. The biomarkers responded adaptively to different redox states following SA and Cu exposure. In unacidified seawater, increases in Cu concentrations significantly induced hepatic lipid peroxidation (LPO, by up to 27.03 %), although compensatory responses in antioxidant defenses and biodetoxification were activated. Moderate SA helped maintain hepatic redox homeostasis and alleviated LPO through different defense strategies, depending on Cu concentrations. Under extreme SA, antioxidant-based defenses were activated to cope with oxidative stress at ambient-low Cu concentrations but failed to defend against Cu toxicity at polluted Cu levels, and LPO (by up to 63.90 %) was significantly induced. Additionally, thiols (GSH and MT) responded actively to cope with Cu toxicity under SA. SOD, CAT, EROD, and GST were also sensitively involved in defending against hepatic oxidative stress during coexposure. These findings highlight the notable interactive effects of SA and Cu and provide a basis for understanding antioxidant-based defenses in marine fish confronting environmental challenges.

Continue reading ‘pCO2-driven seawater acidification affects aqueous-phase copper toxicity in juvenile flounder Paralichthys olivaceus: metal accumulation, antioxidant defenses and biodetoxification in livers’

Do global environmental drivers’ ocean acidification and warming exacerbate the effects of oil pollution on the physiological energetics of Scylla serrata?

Global climate change–induced ocean warming and acidification have complex reverberations on the physiological functioning of marine ectotherms. The Sundarbans estuarine system has been under threat for the past few decades due to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. In recent years, petroleum products’ transportation and their usage have increased manifold, which causes accidental oil spills. The mud crab (Scylla serrata) is one of the most commercially exploited species in the Sundarbans. The key objective of this study was to delineate whether rearing under global environmental drivers (ocean acidification and warming) exacerbates the effect of a local driver (oil pollution) on the physiological energetics of mud crab (Scylla serrata) from the Sundarbans estuarine system. Animals were reared separately for 30 days under (a) the current climatic scenario (pH 8.1, 28°C) and (b) the predicted climate change scenario (pH 7.7, 34°C). After rearing for 30 days, 50% of the animals from each treatment were exposed to 5 mg L−1 of marine diesel oil for the next 24 h. Physiological energetics (ingestion rate, absorption rate, respiration rate, excretion rate, and scope for growth), thermal performance, thermal critical maxima (CTmax), acclimation response ratio (ARR), Arrhenius activation energy (AAE), temperature coefficient (Q10), warming tolerance (WT), and thermal safety margin (TSM) were evaluated. Ingestion and absorption rates were significantly reduced, whereas respiration and ammonia excretion rates significantly increased in stressful treatments, resulting in a significantly lower scope for growth. A profound impact on thermal performance was also noticed, leading to a downward shift in CTmax value for stress-acclimated treatment. The present results clearly highlighted the detrimental combined effect of global climatic stressors and pollution on the physiological energetics of crabs that might potentially reduce their population and affect coastal aquaculture in forthcoming years.

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Gadolinium ecotoxicity is enhanced in a warmer and acidified changing ocean as shown by the surf clam Spisula solida through a multibiomarker approach

Highlights

  • Spisula solida accumulated Gd after just one day.
  • Climate change did not impact Gd accumulation and elimination.
  • Gd was not proficiently eliminated in 7 days.
  • Lipid peroxidation was greater in clams exposed to warming and Gd.
  • Gd showed enhanced ecotoxicity in climate change conditions.

Abstract

Humans have exhaustively combusted fossil fuels, and released pollutants into the environment, at continuously faster rates resulting in global average temperature increase and seawater pH decrease. Climate change is forecasted to exacerbate the effects of pollutants such as the emergent rare earth elements. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the combined effects of rising temperature (Δ = + 4 °C) and decreasing pH (Δ = − 0.4 pH units) on the bioaccumulation and elimination of gadolinium (Gd) in the bioindicator bivalve species Spisula solida (Surf clam). We exposed surf clams to 10 µg L−1 of GdCl3 for seven days, under warming, acidification, and their combination, followed by a depuration phase lasting for another 7 days and investigated the Gd bioaccumulation and oxidative stress-related responses after 1, 3 and 7 days of exposure and the elimination phase. Gadolinium accumulated after just one day with values reaching the highest after 7 days. Gadolinium was not eliminated after 7 days, and elimination is further hampered under climate change scenarios. Warming and acidification, and their interaction did not significantly impact Gd concentration. However, there was a significant interaction on clam’s biochemical response. The augmented total antioxidant capacity and lipid peroxidation values show that the significant impacts of Gd on the oxidative stress response are enhanced under warming while the increased superoxide dismutase and catalase values demonstrate the combined impact of Gd, warming & acidification. Ultimately, lipid damage was greater in clams exposed to warming & Gd, which emphasizes the enhanced toxic effects of Gd in a changing ocean.

Continue reading ‘Gadolinium ecotoxicity is enhanced in a warmer and acidified changing ocean as shown by the surf clam Spisula solida through a multibiomarker approach’

Coral reef fishes in a multi-stressor world

Coral reef fishes and the ecosystems they support represent some of the most biodiverse and productive ecosystems on the planet yet are under threat as they face dramatic increases in multiple, interacting stressors that are largely intensified by anthropogenic influences, such as climate change. Coral reef fishes have been the topic of 875 studies between 1979 and 2020 examining physiological responses to various abiotic and biotic stressors. Here, we highlight the current state of knowledge regarding coral reef fishes’ responses to eight key abiotic stressors (i.e., pollutants, temperature, hypoxia and ocean deoxygenation, pH/CO2, noise, salinity, pressure/depth, and turbidity) and four key biotic stressors (i.e., prey abundance, predator threats, parasites, and disease) and discuss stressors that have been examined in combination. We conclude with a horizon scan to discuss acclimation and adaptation, technological advances, knowledge gaps, and the future of physiological research on coral reef fishes. As we proceed through this new epoch, the Anthropocene, it is critical that the scientific and general communities work to recognize the issues that various habitats and ecosystems, such as coral reefs and the fishes that depend on and support them, are facing so that mitigation strategies can be implemented to protect biodiversity and ecosystem health.

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Effects of ocean acidification and tralopyril on bivalve biomineralization and carbon cycling: a study of the Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas)

Graphical abstract.

Highlights

  • The toxicity of combined exposure fell in between tralopyril and OA alone.
  • Tralopyril and/or OA activates stress defense and interferes with energy metabolism.
  • Tralopyril and/or OA affects bivalve biomineralization and marine carbon cycling.

Abstract

The combined effects of emerging pollutants and ocean acidification (OA) on marine organisms and marine ecosystems have attracted increasing attention. However, the combined effects of tralopyril and OA on marine organisms and marine ecosystems remain unclear. In this study, Crassostrea gigas (C. gigas) were exposed to tralopyril (1 μg/L) and/or OA (PH = 7.7) for 21 days and a 14-day recovery acclimation. To investigate the stress response and potential molecular mechanisms of C. gigas to OA and tralopyril exposure alone or in combination, as well as the effects of OA and/or tralopyril on bivalve biomineralization and marine carbon cycling. The results showed that the combined toxicity was between that of acidification and tralopyril alone. Single or combined exposure activated the general stress defense responses of C. gigas mantle, affected energy metabolism and biomineralization of the organism and the carbon cycle of the marine ecosystem. Moreover, acidification-induced and tralopyril-induced toxicity showed potential recoverability at molecular and biochemical levels. This study provides a new perspective on the molecular mechanisms of tralopyril toxicity to bivalve shellfish and reveals the potential role of tralopyril and OA on marine carbon cycling.

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Environmental change impacts on shell formation in the muricid Nucella lapillus

Environmental change is a significant threat to marine ecosystems worldwide. Ocean acidification, global warming and long-term emissions of anthropogenic effluents are all negatively impacting aquatic life. Marine calcifying organisms, in particular, are expected to be severely affected by decreasing seawater pH, resulting in shell dissolution and retardations during the formation and repair of shells. Understanding the underlying biological and environmental factors driving species vulnerabilities to habitat alterations is thus crucial to our ability to faithfully predict impacts on marine ecosystems under an array of environmental change scenarios. So far, existing knowledge about organism responses mainly stems from short to medium term laboratory experiments of single species or over- simplified communities. Although these studies have provided important insights, results may not translate to organism responses in a complex natural system requiring a more holistic experimental approach. In this thesis, I investigated shell formation mechanisms and shape and elemental composition responses in the shell of the important intertidal predatory muricid Nucella lapillus both in situ and across heterogeneous environmental gradients. The aim was to identify potential coping mechanisms of N. lapillus to environmental change and provide a more coherent picture of shell formation responses along large ecological gradients in the spatial and temporal domain. To investigate shell formation mechanisms, I tested for the possibility of shell recycling as a function to reduce calcification costs during times of exceptional demand using a multi-treatment shell labelling experiment. Reports on calcification costs vary largely in the literature. Still, recent discoveries showed that costs might increase as a function of decreasing calcification substrate abundance, suggesting that shell formation becomes increasingly more costly under future environmental change scenarios. However, despite the anticipated costs, no evidence was found that would indicate the use of functional dissolution as a means to recycle shell material for a more cost-efficient shell formation in N. lapillus. To investigate shell formation responses, I combined morphometric and shell thickness analyses with novel statistical methods to identify natural shape and thickness response of N. lapillus to large scale variability in temperature, salinity, wind speed and the carbonate system across a wide geographic range (from Portugal to Iceland) and through time (over 130 years). I found that along geographical gradients, the state of the carbonate system and, more specifically, the substrate inhibitor ratio ([HCO3−][H+]−1) (SIR) was the main predictor for shape variations in N. lapillus. Populations in regions with a lower SIR tend to form narrower shells with a higher spire to body whorl ratio. In contrast, populations in regions with a higher SIR form wider shells with a much lower spire to body whorl ratio. The results suggest a widespread phenotypic response of N. lapillus to continuing ocean acidification could be expected, affecting its phenotypic response patterns to predator or wave exposure regimes with profound implications for North Atlantic rocky shore communities. On the contrary, investigations of shell shape and thickness changes over the last 130 years from adjacent sampling regions on the Southern North Sea coast revealed that contrary to global predictions, N. lapillus built continuously thicker shells while maintaining a consistent shell shape throughout the last century. Systematic modelling efforts suggested that the observed shell thickening resulted from higher annual temperatures, longer yearly calcification windows, nearshore eutrophication, and enhanced prey abundance, which mitigated the impact of other climate change factors. An investigation into the trace elemental composition of common pollutant metals in the same archival N. lapillus specimens revealed that shell Cu/Ca and Zn/Ca concentration ratios remained remarkably constant throughout the last 130 years despite substantial shifts in the environmental concentration. However, Pb/Ca concentration ratios showed a definite trend closely aligned with leaded petrol emissions in Europe over the same period. Discussing physiological and environmental drivers for the observed shell bound heavy metal patterns, I argue that, unlike for Pb, constraints on environmental dissolved Cu species abundance and biologically mediated control on internal Zn levels were likely responsible for a decoupling of shell-bound to total ambient Cu and Zn concentrations. The results highlight the complexity of internal and external pathways that govern the uptake of heavy metals into the molluscan shell and suggest that the shell of N. lapillus could be a suitable archive for a targeted investigation of Pb pollution in the intertidal zone.

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Abiotic plastic leaching contributes to ocean acidification

Graphical abstract.

Highlights

  • Abiotic plastic degradation induces a decrease in seawater pH.
  • The pH decrease is enhanced by solar radiation.
  • It is related to the amount of leached dissolved organic carbon.
  • It is probably induced from the release of organic acids and the production of CO2.
  • Plastic leaching could produce a seawater pH decrease up to 0.5 units.

Abstract

Ocean acidification and plastic pollution are considered as potential planetary boundary threats for which crossing certain thresholds could be very harmful for the world’s societies and ecosystems well-being. Surface oceans have acidified around 0.1 units since the Industrial Revolution, and the amount of plastic reaching the ocean in 2018 was quantified to 13 million metric tonnes. Currently, both ocean threats are worsening with time. Plastic leaching is known to alter the biogeochemistry of the ocean through the release of dissolved organic matter. However, its impact in the inorganic chemistry of the seawater is less studied. Here we show, from laboratory experiments, that abiotic plastic degradation induces a decrease in seawater pH, particularly if the plastic is already aged, as that found in the ocean. The pH decrease is enhanced by solar radiation, and it is probably induced from a combination of the release of organic acids and the production of CO2. It is also related to the amount of leached dissolved organic carbon, with higher acidification as leaching increases. In coastal areas, where plastic debris accumulates in large quantities, plastic leaching could lead to a seawater pH decrease up to 0.5 units. This is comparable to the projected decrease induced in surface oceans by the end of the twenty-first century for the most pessimistic anthropogenic emissions scenarios.

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Nano-ecotoxicology in a changing ocean

Abstract

The ocean faces an era of change, driven in large by the release of anthropogenic CO2, and the unprecedented entry of pollutants into the water column. Nanomaterials, those particles < 100 nm, represent an emerging contaminant of environmental concern. Research on the ecotoxicology and fate of nanomaterials in the natural environment has increased substantially in recent years. However, commonly such research does not consider the wider environmental changes that are occurring in the ocean, i.e., ocean warming and acidification, and occurrence of co-contaminants. In this review, the current literature available on the combined impacts of nanomaterial exposure and (i) ocean warming, (ii) ocean acidification, (iii) co-contaminant stress, upon marine biota is explored. Here, it is identified that largely co-stressors influence nanomaterial ecotoxicity by altering their fate and behaviour in the water column, thus altering their bioavailability to marine organisms. By acting in this way, such stressors, are able to mitigate or elevate toxic effects of nanomaterials in a material-specific manner. However, current evidence is limited to a relatively small set of test materials and model organisms. Indeed, data is biased towards effects upon marine bivalve species. In future, expanding studies to involve other ecologically significant taxonomic groups, primarily marine phytoplankton will be highly beneficial. Although limited in number, the available evidence highlights the importance of considering co-occurring environmental changes in ecotoxicological research, as it is likely in the natural environment, the material of interest will not be the sole stressor encountered by biota. As such, research examining ecotoxicology alongside co-occurring environmental stressors is essential to effectively evaluating risk and develop effective long-term management strategies.

Article highlights

  • Ocean warming and acidification alter the fate and behaviour of nanomaterials, in turn altering their bioavailability and toxicity
  • Research is currently limited to a number of model materials and organisms
  • Consideration of environmental change is critical to long-term evaluation of pollutant risk in the natural environment
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Bioaccumulation of inorganic and organic mercury in the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis: influence of ocean acidification and food type

The bioaccumulation of mercury (Hg) in marine organisms through various pathways has not yet been fully explored, particularly in cephalopods. This study utilises radiotracer techniques using the isotope 203Hg to investigate the toxicokinetics and the organotropism of waterborne inorganic Hg (iHg) and dietary inorganic and organic Hg (methylHg, MeHg) in juvenile common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis. The effect of two contrasting CO2 partial pressures in seawater (400 and 1600 μatm, equivalent to pH 8.08 and 7.54 respectively) and two types of prey (fish and shrimp) were tested as potential driving factors of Hg bioaccumulation. After 14 days of waterborne exposure, juvenile cuttlefish showed a stable concentration factor of 709 ± 54 and 893 ± 117 at pH 8.08 and 7.54, respectively. The accumulated dissolved i203Hg was depurated relatively rapidly with a radiotracer biological half-life (Tb1/2) of 44 ± 12 and 55 ± 16 days at pH 8.08 and 7.54, respectively. During the whole exposure period, approximately half of the i203Hg was found in the gills, but i203Hg also increased in the digestive gland. When fed with 203Hg-radiolabelled prey, cuttlefish assimilated almost all the Hg provided (>95%) independently of the prey type. Nevertheless, the prey type played a major role on the depuration kinetics with Hg Tb1/2 approaching infinity in fish fed cuttlefish vs. 25 days in shrimp fed cuttlefish. Such a difference is explained by the different proportion of Hg species in the prey, with fish prey containing more than 80% of MeHg vs. only 30% in shrimp. Four days after ingestion of radiolabelled food, iHg was primarily found in the digestive organs while MeHg was transferred towards the muscular tissues. No significant effect of pH/pCO2 variation was observed during both the waterborne and dietary exposures on the bioaccumulation kinetics and tissue distribution of i203Hg and Me203Hg. Dietary exposure is the predominant pathway of Hg bioaccumulation in juvenile cuttlefish.

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Adaptation of a marine diatom to ocean acidification increases its sensitivity to toxic metal exposure

Highlights

  • Adaptation to OA increased marine diatom’s sensitivity to heavy metals (HM).
  • OA-adapted cells decreased their growth and photosynthesis at high HM levels.
  • The increase in sensitivity is associated with reduced metabolic activity.

Abstract

Most previous studies investigating the interplay of ocean acidification (OA) and heavy metal on marine phytoplankton were only conducted in short-term, which may provide conservative estimates of the adaptive capacity of them. Here, we examined the physiological responses of long-term (~900 generations) OA-adapted and non-adapted populations of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum to different concentrations of the two heavy metals Cd and Cu. Our results showed that long-term OA selected populations exhibited significantly lower growth and reduced photosynthetic activity than ambient CO2 selected populations at relatively high heavy metal levels. Those findings suggest that the adaptations to high CO2 results in an increased sensitivity of the marine diatom to toxic metal exposure. This study provides evidence for the costs and the cascading consequences associated with the adaptation of phytoplankton to elevated CO2 conditions, and improves our understanding of the complex interactions of future OA and heavy metal pollution in marine waters.

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Diel fluctuation superimposed on steady high pCO2 generates the most serious cadmium toxicity to marine copepods

Graphical abstract

Coastal systems experience diel fluctuation of pCO2 and cadmium (Cd) pollution; nevertheless, the effect of fluctuating pCO2 on Cd biotoxicity is poorly known. In this study, we initially performed the isotopically enriched organism bioassay to label Tigriopus japonicus with 113Cd (5 μg/L) to determine the Cd accumulation rate constant (kaccu) under ambient (400 μatm) and steadily (1000 μatm) and fluctuatingly elevated (1000 ± 600 μatm) pCO2 conditions for 48 h. Next, T. japonicus was interactively subjected to the above pCO2 exposures at Cd (control, 5, and 500 μg/L) treatments for 7 d. Biochemical and physiological responses for copepods were analyzed. The results showed that steadily increased pCO2 facilitated Cd bioaccumulation compared to ambient pCO2, and it was more under fluctuating acidification conditions. Despite compensatory reactions (e.g., increased energy production), Cd ultimately induced oxidative damage and apoptosis. Meanwhile, combined treatment exhibited higher toxicity (e.g., increased apoptosis) relative to Cd exposure, and even more if fluctuating acidification was considered. Intriguingly, fluctuating acidification inhibited Cd exclusion in Cd-treated copepods compared to steady acidification, linking to higher Cd kaccu and bioaccumulation. Collectively, CO2-driven acidification could aggravate Cd toxicity, providing a mechanistic understanding of the interaction between seawater acidification and Cd pollution in marine copepods.

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Emergent interactive effects of climate change and contaminants in coastal and ocean ecosystems

The effects of climate change (CC) on contaminants and their potential consequences to marine ecosystem services and human wellbeing are of paramount importance, as they pose overlapping risks. Here, we discuss how the interaction between CC and contaminants leads to poorly constrained impacts that affects the sensitivity of organisms to contamination leading to impaired ecosystem function, services and risk assessment evaluations. Climate drivers, such as ocean warming, ocean deoxygenation, changes in circulation, ocean acidification, and extreme events interact with trace metals, organic pollutants, excess nutrients, and radionuclides in a complex manner. Overall, the holistic consideration of the pollutants-climate change nexus has significant knowledge gaps, but will be important in understanding the fate, transport, speciation, bioavailability, toxicity, and inventories of contaminants. Greater focus on these uncertainties would facilitate improved predictions of future changes in the global biogeochemical cycling of contaminants and both human health and marine ecosystems.

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Microplastics can aggravate the impact of ocean acidification on the health of mussels: insights from physiological performance, immunity and byssus properties

Graphical abstract

Highlights

  • Ocean acidification reduced phagocytic activity and hence immunity of mussels.
  • The reduced phagocytic activity was associated with lowered energy budget.
  • Ocean acidification also reduced byssus strength, extensibility and production.
  • Microplastics can aggravate these negative effects of ocean acidification.
  • Mussels would be more prone to diseases and dislodgement in future oceans.

Abstract

Ocean acidification may increase the risk of disease outbreaks that would challenge the future persistence of marine organisms if their immune system and capacity to produce vital structures for survival (e.g., byssus threads produced by bivalves) are compromised by acidified seawater. These potential adverse effects may be exacerbated by microplastic pollution, which is forecast to co-occur with ocean acidification in the future. Thus, we evaluated the impact of ocean acidification and microplastics on the health of a mussel species (Mytilus coruscus) by assessing its physiological performance, immunity and byssus properties. We found that ocean acidification and microplastics not only reduced hemocyte concentration and viability due to elevated oxidative stress, but also undermined phagocytic activity of hemocytes due to lowered energy budget of mussels, which was in turn caused by the reduced feeding performance and energy assimilation. Byssus quality (strength and extensibility) and production were also reduced by ocean acidification and microplastics. To increase the chance of survival with these stressors, the mussels prioritized the synthesis of some byssus proteins (Mfp-4 and Mfp-5) to help maintain adhesion to substrata. Nevertheless, our findings suggest that co-occurrence of ocean acidification and microplastic pollution would increase the susceptibility of bivalves to infectious diseases and dislodgement risk, thereby threatening their survival and undermining their ecological contributions to the community.

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The effects of acidification on arsenic concentration and speciation in offshore shallow water system

Highlights

  • Acidification simulation experiments were conducted in lab scale tanks.
  • Effects of acidification on speciation and transportation of arsenic were studied.
  • Acidification could cause more DIAs transport into overlying water from sediments.
  • Acidification would be favorable to the existence of As3+ in overlying waters.

Abstract

The effects of acidification on speciation and transportation of arsenic in shallow seawater system were investigated based on data from acidification simulation experiments in lab scale tanks, in which enhanced levels of pCO2 corresponding to pHT were processed. The results showed that: (1) the concentration of DIAs (Dissolved inorganic arsenic), As5+ and As3+ in the overlying water increased with experimental CO2 enrichment; (2) while the ratio of As5+/As3+ decreased; (3) acidification could cause more DIAs transport into the overlying water from sediments or suspended particulate matters, and would be favorable to the existence of As3+. Thus, DIAs is available to microorganisms and can be taken in effectively by microorganisms in the shallow water system, resulting in toxic effects of As on microorganisms and thus the inhibition of the growth of microorganisms.

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A global horizon scan of issues impacting marine and coastal biodiversity conservation

The biodiversity of marine and coastal habitats is experiencing unprecedented change. While there are well-known drivers of these changes, such as overexploitation, climate change and pollution, there are also relatively unknown emerging issues that are poorly understood or recognized that have potentially positive or negative impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems. In this inaugural Marine and Coastal Horizon Scan, we brought together 30 scientists, policymakers and practitioners with transdisciplinary expertise in marine and coastal systems to identify new issues that are likely to have a significant impact on the functioning and conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity over the next 5–10 years. Based on a modified Delphi voting process, the final 15 issues presented were distilled from a list of 75 submitted by participants at the start of the process. These issues are grouped into three categories: ecosystem impacts, for example the impact of wildfires and the effect of poleward migration on equatorial biodiversity; resource exploitation, including an increase in the trade of fish swim bladders and increased exploitation of marine collagens; and new technologies, such as soft robotics and new biodegradable products. Our early identification of these issues and their potential impacts on marine and coastal biodiversity will support scientists, conservationists, resource managers and policymakers to address the challenges facing marine ecosystems.

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Micro- and nanoplastics effects in a multiple stressed marine environment

Graphical abstract

Highlights

  • MNPs in the environment are complex mixtures of various size ranges, shapes, polymers
  • MNPs and global change driven stressors do not operate in isolation
  • Stress responses of biota due to MNPs should be contextualised in a changing environment
  • Reports indicate that MNPs interact with OW and OA and impact biota
  • Effects of MNPs combined with global change stressors at population level are unknown

Abstract

Micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs) pollution is an environmental issue of concern, but current effect assessments often overlook realistic scenarios, and a contextualised vision of the magnitude of the impact of complex mixtures of MNPs together with other environmental stressors is urgently needed. Plastic particles exist in the environment as complex mixtures of particles from various size ranges, shapes, and polymer types, but the potential effects of realistic MNPs mixtures and concentrations are still poorly understood, and current effects data is insufficient to produce high quality risk assessments. Organisms exposed to MNPs in the marine environment are simultaneously subjected to global change driven stressors, among others, such as ocean warming (OW), marine heat waves (MHW), ocean acidification (OA), and ocean deoxygenation (OD). Stress responses due to MNPs ingestion can, in particular cases, lead to a metabolic and energetic cost, which may be aggravated in the case of organisms already vulnerable due to simultaneous exposure to global change-related stressors. In this work, we discuss how MNPs effects could be assessed while considering plastics complexity and other environmental stressors. We identify knowledge gaps in MNPs assessments, acknowledge the importance of environmental data acquisition and availability for improved assessments, and consider how mechanistic ecological models can be used to unveil and to increase our understanding of MNPs effects on marine ecosystems. Understanding the importance of plastic pollution in the context of other stressors such as climate change and their potential combined effects on marine ecosystems is important. The assessment of realistic effects of MNPs on all biological levels of organisation should consider the co-occurrence in the environment of global change-related stressors. Even though the number of studies is still limited, recent effect assessment reports indicate that the MNPs interaction with global change stressors can affect processes in organisms such as ingestion and digestion, energy allocation, growth, and fecundity. The potential impact of this interaction at population levels is largely unknown and requires increased attention from the research community, to provide information to stakeholders on the vulnerability of marine species and ecosystems now and under future environmental conditions.

Continue reading ‘Micro- and nanoplastics effects in a multiple stressed marine environment’

Microplastics can aggravate the impact of ocean acidification on the health of a common mussel: insights from physiological performance, immunity and byssus properties

Graphical abstract

Highlights

  • Ocean acidification reduced phagocytic activity and hence immunity of mussels.
  • The reduced phagocytic activity was associated with lowered energy budget.
  • Ocean acidification also reduced byssus strength, extensibility and production.
  • Microplastics can aggravate these negative effects of ocean acidification.
  • Mussels would be more prone to diseases and dislodgement in future oceans.

Abstract

Ocean acidification may increase the risk of disease outbreaks that would challenge the future persistence of marine organisms if their immune system and capacity to produce vital structures for survival (e.g., byssus threads produced by bivalves) are compromised by acidified seawater. These potential adverse effects may be exacerbated by microplastic pollution, which is forecast to co-occur with ocean acidification in the future. Thus, we evaluated the impact of ocean acidification and microplastics on the health of a common mussel (Mytilus coruscus) by assessing its physiological performance, immunity and byssus properties. We found that ocean acidification and microplastics not only reduced hemocyte concentration and viability due to elevated oxidative stress, but also undermined phagocytic activity of hemocytes due to lowered energy budget of mussels, which was in turn caused by the reduced feeding performance and energy assimilation of mussels. Byssus quality (strength and extensibility) and production were also reduced by ocean acidification and microplastics. To maximize survival with these stressors, the mussels prioritized the synthesis of some byssus proteins (Mfp-4 and Mfp-5) to help maintain adhesion to substrata. Nevertheless, our findings suggest that the future co-occurrence of ocean acidification and microplastic pollution would increase the susceptibility of bivalves to infectious diseases and dislodgement risk, thereby threatening their survival and undermining their ecological contributions to the community.

Continue reading ‘Microplastics can aggravate the impact of ocean acidification on the health of a common mussel: insights from physiological performance, immunity and byssus properties’

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