Impacts of ocean warming and acidification on the larval development of the barnacle Amphibalanus improvisus

Christian Pansch*, Ali Nasrolahi, Yasmin Shirin Appelhans, Martin Wahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


The world's oceans are warming and becoming more acidic. Both stressors, singly or in combination, impact marine species, and ensuing effects might be particularly serious for early life stages. To date most studies have focused on ocean acidification (OA) effects in fully marine environments, while little attention has been devoted to more variable coastal ecosystems, such as the Western Baltic Sea. Since natural spatial and temporal variability of environmental conditions such as salinity, temperature or pCO 2 impose more complex stresses upon organisms inhabiting these habitats, species can be expected to be more tolerant to OA (or warming) than fully marine taxa. We present data on the variability of salinity, temperature and pH within the Kiel Fjord and on the responses of the barnacle Amphibalanus improvisus from this habitat to simulated warming and OA during its early development. Nauplii and cyprids were exposed to different temperature (12, 20 and 27°C) and pCO 2 (nominally 400, 1250 and 3250μatm) treatments for 8 and 4weeks, respectively. Survival, larval duration and settlement success were monitored. Warming affected larval responses more strongly than OA. Increased temperatures favored survival and development of nauplii but decreased survival of cyprids. OA had no effect upon survival of nauplii but enhanced their development at low (12°C) and high (27°C) temperatures. In contrast, at the intermediate temperature (20°C), nauplii were not affected even by 3250μatm pCO 2. None of the treatments significantly affected settlement success of cyprids. These experiments show a remarkable tolerance of A. improvisus larvae to 1250μatm pCO 2, the level of OA predicted for the end of the century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Amphibalanus improvisus
  • Barnacles
  • Cypris
  • Nauplius
  • Ocean acidification
  • Warming


Dive into the research topics of 'Impacts of ocean warming and acidification on the larval development of the barnacle Amphibalanus improvisus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this