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Have we been underestimating the effects of ocean acidification in zooplankton?

Have we been underestimating the effects of ocean acidification in zooplankton?
Have we been underestimating the effects of ocean acidification in zooplankton?
Understanding how copepods may respond to ocean acidification (OA) is critical for risk assessments of ocean ecology and biogeochemistry. The perception that copepods are insensitive to OA is largely based on experiments with adult females. Their apparent resilience to increased carbon dioxide (pCO2) concentrations has supported the view that copepods are ‘winners’ under OA. Here, we show that this conclusion is not robust, that sensitivity across different life stages is significantly misrepresented by studies solely using adult females. Stage-specific responses to pCO2 (385–6000 ?atm) were studied across different life stages of a calanoid copepod, monitoring for lethal and sublethal responses. Mortality rates varied significantly across the different life stages, with nauplii showing the highest lethal effects; nauplii mortality rates increased threefold when pCO2 concentrations reached 1000 ?atm (year 2100 scenario) with LC50 at 1084 ?atm pCO2. In comparison, eggs, early copepodite stages, and adult males and females were not affected lethally until pCO2 concentrations ?3000 ?atm. Adverse effects on reproduction were found, with >35% decline in nauplii recruitment at 1000 ?atm pCO2. This suppression of reproductive scope, coupled with the decreased survival of early stage progeny at this pCO2 concentration, has clear potential to damage population growth dynamics in this species. The disparity in responses seen across the different developmental stages emphasizes the need for a holistic life-cycle approach to make species-level projections to climate change. Significant misrepresentation and error propagation can develop from studies which attempt to project outcomes to future OA conditions solely based on single life history stage exposures.
copepod, developmental stages, mortality, ocean acidification, recruitment, zooplankton
1354-1013
3377-3385
Cripps, Gemma
bb69f201-11cb-4b34-85b3-81720e0b6554
Lindeque, Penelope
13334439-fed2-43e0-9c21-3df94d69f963
Flynn, Kevin J.
cd4993dd-06a3-4991-9dc2-8328e58d39ac
Cripps, Gemma
bb69f201-11cb-4b34-85b3-81720e0b6554
Lindeque, Penelope
13334439-fed2-43e0-9c21-3df94d69f963
Flynn, Kevin J.
cd4993dd-06a3-4991-9dc2-8328e58d39ac

Cripps, Gemma, Lindeque, Penelope and Flynn, Kevin J. (2014) Have we been underestimating the effects of ocean acidification in zooplankton? Global Change Biology, 20 (11), 3377-3385. (doi:10.1111/gcb.12582).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Understanding how copepods may respond to ocean acidification (OA) is critical for risk assessments of ocean ecology and biogeochemistry. The perception that copepods are insensitive to OA is largely based on experiments with adult females. Their apparent resilience to increased carbon dioxide (pCO2) concentrations has supported the view that copepods are ‘winners’ under OA. Here, we show that this conclusion is not robust, that sensitivity across different life stages is significantly misrepresented by studies solely using adult females. Stage-specific responses to pCO2 (385–6000 ?atm) were studied across different life stages of a calanoid copepod, monitoring for lethal and sublethal responses. Mortality rates varied significantly across the different life stages, with nauplii showing the highest lethal effects; nauplii mortality rates increased threefold when pCO2 concentrations reached 1000 ?atm (year 2100 scenario) with LC50 at 1084 ?atm pCO2. In comparison, eggs, early copepodite stages, and adult males and females were not affected lethally until pCO2 concentrations ?3000 ?atm. Adverse effects on reproduction were found, with >35% decline in nauplii recruitment at 1000 ?atm pCO2. This suppression of reproductive scope, coupled with the decreased survival of early stage progeny at this pCO2 concentration, has clear potential to damage population growth dynamics in this species. The disparity in responses seen across the different developmental stages emphasizes the need for a holistic life-cycle approach to make species-level projections to climate change. Significant misrepresentation and error propagation can develop from studies which attempt to project outcomes to future OA conditions solely based on single life history stage exposures.

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More information

Published date: November 2014
Keywords: copepod, developmental stages, mortality, ocean acidification, recruitment, zooplankton
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 373517
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/373517
ISSN: 1354-1013
PURE UUID: e1f3e1cd-a59c-4d81-89bc-8344968c4ac4

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Date deposited: 20 Jan 2015 13:59
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 21:32

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