Posts Tagged 'zooplankton'

Early life stages of Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) are sensitive to fish feed containing the anti-parasitic drug diflubenzuron


• Diflubenzuron is used in salmon aquaculture to remove parasitic lice.
• Salmon feed containing diflubenzuron increased mortality of shrimp larvae.
• Additive effects of diflubenzuron and ocean acidification/warming on mortality.
• More serious sublethal effects of diflubenzuron under future climate conditions.
• Use of diflubenzuron in salmon farms is a threat to non-target crustaceans.


Increasing use of fish feed containing the chitin synthesis inhibiting anti-parasitic drug diflubenzuron (DFB) in salmon aquaculture has raised concerns over its impact on coastal ecosystems. Larvae of Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) were exposed to DFB medicated feed under Control conditions (7.0 °C, pH 8.0) and under Ocean Acidification and Warming conditions (OAW, 9.5 °C and pH 7.6). Two weeks’ exposure to DFB medicated feed caused significantly increased mortality. The effect of OAW and DFB on mortality of shrimp larvae was additive; 10% mortality in Control, 35% in OAW, 66% in DFB and 92% in OAW + DFB. In OAW + DFB feeding and swimming activity were reduced for stage II larvae and none of the surviving larvae developed to stage IV. Two genes involved in feeding (GAPDH and PRLP) and one gene involved in moulting (DD9B) were significantly downregulated in larvae exposed to OAW + DFB relative to the Control. Due to a shorter intermoult period under OAW conditions, the OAW + DFB larvae were exposed throughout two instead of one critical pre-moult period. This may explain the more serious sub-lethal effects for OAW + DFB than DFB larvae. A single day exposure at 4 days after hatching did not affect DFB larvae, but high mortality was observed for OAW + DFB larvae, possibly because they were exposed closer to moulting. High mortality of shrimp larvae exposed to DFB medicated feed, indicates that the use of DFB in salmon aquaculture is a threat to crustacean zooplankton.

Continue reading ‘Early life stages of Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) are sensitive to fish feed containing the anti-parasitic drug diflubenzuron’

No maternal or direct effects of ocean acidification on egg hatching in the Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis

Widespread ocean acidification (OA) is transforming the chemistry of the global ocean and the Arctic is recognised as the region where this transformation will occur at the fastest rate. Moreover, many Arctic species are considered less capable of tolerating OA due to their lower capacity for acid-base regulation. This inability may put severe restraints on many fundamental functions, such as growth and reproductive investments, which ultimately may result in reduced fitness. However, maternal effects may alleviate severe effects on the offspring rendering them more tolerant to OA. In a highly replicated experiment we studied maternal and direct effects of OA predicted for the Arctic shelf seas on egg hatching time and success in the keystone copepod species Calanus glacialis. We incubated females at present day conditions (pHT 8.0) and year 2100 extreme conditions (pHT 7.5) during oogenesis and subsequently reciprocally transplanted laid eggs between these two conditions. Statistical tests showed no effects of maternal or direct exposure to OA at this level. We hypothesise that Cglacialis may be physiologically adapted to egg production at low pH since oogenesis can also take place at conditions of potentially low haemolymph pH of the mother during hibernation in the deep.

Continue reading ‘No maternal or direct effects of ocean acidification on egg hatching in the Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis’

Vertical distribution and diurnal migration of atlantid heteropods

Understanding the vertical distribution and migratory behaviour of shelled holoplanktonic gastropods is essential in determining the environmental conditions to which they are exposed. This is increasingly important in understanding the effects of ocean acidification and climate change. Here we investigated the vertical distribution of atlantid heteropods by collating data from publications and collections and using the oxygen isotope (δ18O) composition of single aragonitic shells. Data from publications and collections show 2 patterns of migration behaviour: small species that reside in shallow water at all times, and larger species that make diurnal migrations from the surface at night to deep waters during the daytime. The δ18O data show that all species analysed (n = 16) calcify their shells close to the deep chlorophyll maximum. This was within the upper 110 m of the ocean for 15 species, and down to 146 m for a single species. These findings confirm that many atlantid species are exposed to large environmental variations over a diurnal cycle and may already be well adapted to face ocean changes. However, all species analysed rely on aragonite supersaturated waters in the upper <150 m of the ocean to produce their shells, a region that is projected to undergo the earliest and greatest changes in response to increased anthropogenic CO2.

Continue reading ‘Vertical distribution and diurnal migration of atlantid heteropods’

Influence of bacteria on shell dissolution in dead gastropod larvae and adult Limacina helicina pteropods under ocean acidification conditions

Ocean acidification (OA) increases aragonite shell dissolution in calcifying marine organisms. It has been proposed that bacteria associated with molluscan shell surfaces in situ could damage the periostracum and reduce its protective function against shell dissolution. However, the influence of bacteria on shell dissolution under OA conditions is unknown. In this study, dissolution in dead shells from gastropod larvae and adult pteropods (Limacina helicina) was examined following a 5-day incubation under a range of aragonite saturation states (Ωarag; values ranging from 0.5 to 1.8) both with and without antibiotics. Gastropod and pteropod specimens were collected from Puget Sound, Washington (48°33′19″N, 122°59′49″W and 47°41′11″N, 122°25′23″W, respectively), preserved, stored, and then treated in August 2015. Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) was used to determine the severity and extent of dissolution, which was scored as mild, severe, or summed (mild + severe) dissolution. Shell dissolution increased with decreasing Ωarag. In gastropod larvae, there was a significant interaction between the effects of antibiotics and Ωarag on severe dissolution, indicating that microbes could mediate certain types of dissolution among shells under low Ωarag. In L. helicina, there were no significant interactions between the effects of antibiotics and Ωarag on dissolution. These findings suggest that bacteria may differentially influence the response of some groups of shelled planktonic gastropods to OA conditions. This is the first assessment of the microbial–chemical coupling of dissolution in shells of either gastropod larvae or adult L. helicina under OA.

Continue reading ‘Influence of bacteria on shell dissolution in dead gastropod larvae and adult Limacina helicina pteropods under ocean acidification conditions’

Pteropods counter mechanical damage and dissolution through extensive shell repair

The dissolution of the delicate shells of sea butterflies, or pteropods, has epitomised discussions regarding ecosystem vulnerability to ocean acidification over the last decade. However, a recent demonstration that the organic coating of the shell, the periostracum, is effective in inhibiting dissolution suggests that pteropod shells may not be as susceptible to ocean acidification as previously thought. Here we use micro-CT technology to show how, despite losing the entire thickness of the original shell in localised areas, specimens of polar species Limacina helicina maintain shell integrity by thickening the inner shell wall. One specimen collected within Fram Strait with a history of mechanical and dissolution damage generated four times the thickness of the original shell in repair material. The ability of pteropods to repair and maintain their shells, despite progressive loss, demonstrates a further resilience of these organisms to ocean acidification but at a likely metabolic cost.

Continue reading ‘Pteropods counter mechanical damage and dissolution through extensive shell repair’

Increased fitness of a key appendicularian zooplankton species under warmer, acidified seawater conditions

Ocean warming and acidification (OA) may alter the fitness of species in marine pelagic ecosystems through community effects or direct physiological impacts. We used the zooplanktonic appendicularian, Oikopleura dioica, to assess temperature and pH effects at mesocosm and microcosm scales. In mesocosms, both OA and warming positively impacted O. dioica abundance over successive generations. In microcosms, the positive impact of OA, was observed to result from increased fecundity. In contrast, increased pH, observed for example during phytoplankton blooms, reduced fecundity. Oocyte fertility and juvenile development were equivalent under all pH conditions, indicating that the positive effect of lower pH on O. dioica abundance was principally due to increased egg number. This effect was influenced by food quantity and quality, supporting possible improved digestion and assimilation at lowered pH. Higher temperature resulted in more rapid growth, faster maturation and earlier reproduction. Thus, increased temperature and reduced pH had significant positive impacts on O. dioica fitness through increased fecundity and shortened generation time, suggesting that predicted future ocean conditions may favour this zooplankton species.

Continue reading ‘Increased fitness of a key appendicularian zooplankton species under warmer, acidified seawater conditions’

Effects of ocean acidification on copepods


• Ocean acidification (OA) has been a global threat to marine ecosystem.
• Copepods display species-specific and stage-dependent responses against OA.
• OA effects on copepods can be modulated by acclimatization/adaptation.
• The response of copepods against OA interacts with other co-stressors.
• Future priority researches have been suggested for OA stress study.


Ocean acidification (OA) leads to significant changes in seawater carbon chemistry, broadly affects marine organisms, and considered as a global threat to the fitness of marine ecosystems. Due to the crucial role of copepods in marine food webs of transferring energy from primary producers to higher trophic levels, numerous studies have been conducted to examine the impacts of OA on biological traits of copepods such as growth and reproduction. Under OA stress, the copepods demonstrated species-specific and stage-dependent responses. Notably, different populations of the same copepod species demonstrated different sensitivities to the increased pCO2. In copepods, the deleterious effects of OA are also reinforced by other naturally occurring co-stressors (e.g., thermal stress, food deprivation, and metal pollution). Given that most OA stress studies have focused on the effects of short-term exposure (shorter than a single generation), experiments using adults might have underestimated the damaging effects of OA and the long-term multigenerational exposure to multiple stressors (e.g., increased pCO2 and food shortage) will be required. Particularly, omics-based technologies (e.g., genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) will be helpful to better understand the underlying processes behind biological responses (e.g., survival, development, and offspring production) at the mechanistic level which will improve our predictions of the responses of copepods to climate change stressors including OA.

Continue reading ‘Effects of ocean acidification on copepods’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book