Effects of ocean acidification on embryonic respiration and development of a temperate wrasse living along a natural CO2 gradient

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Abstract

Volcanic CO2 seeps provide opportunities to investigate the effects of ocean acidification on organisms in the wild. To understand the influence of increasing CO2 concentrations on the metabolic rate (oxygen consumption) and the development of ocellated wrasse early life stages, we ran two field experiments, collecting embryos from nesting sites with different partial pressures of CO2 [pCO2; ambient (~400 μatm) and high (800-1000 μatm)] and reciprocally transplanting embryos from ambient- to high-CO2 sites for 30 h. Ocellated wrasse offspring brooded in different CO2 conditions had similar responses, but after transplanting portions of nests to the high-CO2 site, embryos from parents that spawned in ambient conditions had higher metabolic rates. Although metabolic phenotypic plasticity may show a positive response to high CO2, it often comes at a cost, in this case as a smaller size at hatching. This can have adverse effects because smaller larvae often exhibit a lower survival in the wild. However, the adverse effects of increased CO2 on metabolism and development did not occur when embryos from the high-CO2 nesting site were exposed to ambient conditions, suggesting that offspring from the high-CO2 nesting site could be resilient to a wider range of pCO2 values than those belonging to the site with present-day pCO2 levels. Our study identifies a crucial need to increase the number of studies dealing with these processes under global change trajectories and to expand these to naturally high-CO2 environments, in order to assess further the adaptive plasticity mechanism that encompasses nongenetic inheritance (epigenetics) through parental exposure and other downstream consequences, such as survival of larvae.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine10
RivistaConservation Physiology
Volume4
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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