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Sensitivity to near-future CO2 conditions in marine crabs depends on their compensatory capacities for salinity change

Sensitivity to near-future CO2 conditions in marine crabs depends on their compensatory capacities for salinity change
Sensitivity to near-future CO2 conditions in marine crabs depends on their compensatory capacities for salinity change

Marine crabs inhabit shallow coastal/estuarine habitats particularly sensitive to climate change, and yet we know very little about the diversity of their responses to environmental change. We report the effects of a rarely studied, but increasingly prevalent, combination of environmental factors, that of near-future pCO2 (~1000 µatm) and a physiologically relevant 20% reduction in salinity. We focused on two crab species with differing abilities to cope with natural salinity change, and revealed via physiological and molecular studies that salinity had an overriding effect on ion exchange in the osmoregulating shore crab, Carcinus maenas. This species was unaffected by elevated CO2, and was able to hyper-osmoregulate and maintain haemolymph pH homeostasis for at least one year. By contrast, the commercially important edible crab, Cancer pagurus, an osmoconformer, had limited ion-transporting capacities, which were unresponsive to dilute seawater. Elevated CO2 disrupted haemolymph pH homeostasis, but there was some respite in dilute seawater due to a salinity-induced metabolic alkalosis (increase in HCO3 at constant pCO2). Ultimately, Cancer pagurus was poorly equipped to compensate for change, and exposures were limited to 9 months. Failure to understand the full spectrum of species-related vulnerabilities could lead to erroneous predictions of the impacts of a changing marine climate.

2045-2322
Whiteley, Nia M.
30dd8b4d-27ca-42b5-afc3-475b18d1505b
Suckling, Coleen C.
480655a5-6e78-4fd0-9475-7e98b182469b
Ciotti, Benjamin J.
034551e4-d770-4cd2-80cc-b95c677938d2
Brown, James
067be518-af0b-46f1-bf2c-add5cd655c98
McCarthy, Ian D.
1d41c278-e008-4487-a088-ce1ce6f64ea5
Gimenez, Luis
b23cfcfc-d2ac-4d18-9400-31a4fda947f4
Hauton, Chris
7706f6ba-4497-42b2-8c6d-00df81676331
Whiteley, Nia M.
30dd8b4d-27ca-42b5-afc3-475b18d1505b
Suckling, Coleen C.
480655a5-6e78-4fd0-9475-7e98b182469b
Ciotti, Benjamin J.
034551e4-d770-4cd2-80cc-b95c677938d2
Brown, James
067be518-af0b-46f1-bf2c-add5cd655c98
McCarthy, Ian D.
1d41c278-e008-4487-a088-ce1ce6f64ea5
Gimenez, Luis
b23cfcfc-d2ac-4d18-9400-31a4fda947f4
Hauton, Chris
7706f6ba-4497-42b2-8c6d-00df81676331

Whiteley, Nia M., Suckling, Coleen C., Ciotti, Benjamin J., Brown, James, McCarthy, Ian D., Gimenez, Luis and Hauton, Chris (2018) Sensitivity to near-future CO2 conditions in marine crabs depends on their compensatory capacities for salinity change. Scientific Reports, 8 (1), [15639]. (doi:10.1038/s41598-018-34089-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Marine crabs inhabit shallow coastal/estuarine habitats particularly sensitive to climate change, and yet we know very little about the diversity of their responses to environmental change. We report the effects of a rarely studied, but increasingly prevalent, combination of environmental factors, that of near-future pCO2 (~1000 µatm) and a physiologically relevant 20% reduction in salinity. We focused on two crab species with differing abilities to cope with natural salinity change, and revealed via physiological and molecular studies that salinity had an overriding effect on ion exchange in the osmoregulating shore crab, Carcinus maenas. This species was unaffected by elevated CO2, and was able to hyper-osmoregulate and maintain haemolymph pH homeostasis for at least one year. By contrast, the commercially important edible crab, Cancer pagurus, an osmoconformer, had limited ion-transporting capacities, which were unresponsive to dilute seawater. Elevated CO2 disrupted haemolymph pH homeostasis, but there was some respite in dilute seawater due to a salinity-induced metabolic alkalosis (increase in HCO3 at constant pCO2). Ultimately, Cancer pagurus was poorly equipped to compensate for change, and exposures were limited to 9 months. Failure to understand the full spectrum of species-related vulnerabilities could lead to erroneous predictions of the impacts of a changing marine climate.

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Accepted/In Press date: 9 September 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 October 2018
Published date: 1 December 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 425975
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/425975
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: 4226b4c3-365d-42ce-95ed-899abd5ae104
ORCID for Chris Hauton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2313-4226

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Date deposited: 08 Nov 2018 17:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:46

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Contributors

Author: Nia M. Whiteley
Author: Coleen C. Suckling
Author: Benjamin J. Ciotti
Author: James Brown
Author: Ian D. McCarthy
Author: Luis Gimenez
Author: Chris Hauton ORCID iD

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