Long-term exposure to acidification disrupts reproduction in a marine invertebrate

Christian Pansch*, Giannina S.I. Hattich, Mara E. Heinrichs, Andreas Pansch, Zuzanna Zagrodzka, Jonathan N. Havenhand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Climate change research is advancing to more complex and more comprehensive studies that include long-term experiments, multiple life-history stages, multi-population, and multi-trait approaches. We used a population of the barnacle Balanus improvisus known to be sensitive to short-term acidification to determine its potential for long-term acclimation to acidification. We reared laboratory-bred individuals (as singles or pairs), and field-collected assemblages of barnacles, at pH 8.1 and 7.5 ( 400 and 1600 ?atm pCO2 respectively) for up to 16 months. Acidification caused strong mortality and reduced growth rates. Acidification suppressed respiration rates and induced a higher feeding activity of barnacles after 6 months, but this suppression of respiration rate was absent after 15 months. Laboratory-bred barnacles developed mature gonads only when they were held in pairs, but nonetheless failed to produce fertilized embryos. Field-collected barnacles reared in the laboratory for 8 months at the same pH’s developed mature gonads, but only those in pH 8.1 produced viable embryos and larvae. Because survivors of long-term acidification were not capable of reproducing, this demonstrates that B. improvisus can only partially acclimate to long-term acidification. This represents a clear and significant bottleneck in the ontogeny of this barnacle population that may limit its potential to persist in a future ocean.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0192036
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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