Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

Effects of ocean acidification-induced morphological changes on larval swimming and feeding

Authors Chan, Kit Yu Karen View this author's profile
Gruenbaum, Daniel
O'Donnell, Michael J.
Issue Date 2011
Source Journal of Experimental Biology , v. 214, (22), 2011, Nov, p. 3857-3867
Summary Reduction in global ocean pH due to the uptake of increased atmospheric CO 2 is expected to negatively affect calcifying organisms, including the planktonic larval stages of many marine invertebrates. Planktonic larvae play crucial roles in the benthic-pelagic life cycle of marine organisms by connecting and sustaining existing populations and colonizing new habitats. Calcified larvae are typically denser than seawater and rely on swimming to navigate vertically structured water columns. Larval sand dollars Dendraster excentricus have calcified skeletal rods supporting their bodies, and propel themselves with ciliated bands looped around projections called arms. Ciliated bands are also used in food capture, and filtration rate is correlated with band length. As a result, swimming and feeding performance are highly sensitive to morphological changes. When reared at an elevated P CO2 level (1000 ppm), larval sand dollars developed significantly narrower bodies at four-and six-arm stages. Morphological changes also varied between four observed maternal lineages, suggesting within-population variation in sensitivity to changes in P CO2 level. Despite these morphological changes, P CO2 concentration alone had no significant effect on swimming speeds. However, acidified larvae had significantly smaller larval stomachs and bodies, suggesting reduced feeding performance. Adjustments to larval morphologies in response to ocean acidification may prioritize swimming over feeding, implying that negative consequences of ocean acidification are carried over to later developmental stages. © 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
ISSN 0022-0949
Language English
Format Article
Access View full-text via DOI
View full-text via Scopus
View full-text via Web of Science