Effect of CO2–induced ocean acidification on the early development and shell mineralization of the European abalone (Haliotis tuberculata)

Abstract : Ocean acidification is a major global stressor that leads to substantial changes in seawater carbonate chemistry, with potentially significant consequences for calcifying organisms. Marine shelled mollusks are ecologically and economically important species providing essential ecosystem services and food sources for other species. Because they use calcium carbonate (CaCO3) to produce their shells, mollusks are among the most vulnerable invertebrates to ocean acidification, with early developmental stages being particularly sensitive to pH changes. This study investigated the effects of CO2-induced ocean acidification on larval development of the European abalone Haliotis tuberculata, a commercially important gastropod species. Abalone larvae were exposed to a range of reduced pHs (8.0, 7.7 and 7.6) over the course of their development cycle, from early-hatched trochophore to pre-metamorphic veliger. Biological responses were evaluated by measuring the survival rate, morphology and development, growth rate and shell calcification. Larval survival was significantly lower in acidified conditions than in control conditions. Similarly, larval size was consistently smaller under low pH conditions. Larval development was also affected, with evidence of a developmental delay and an increase in the proportion of malformed or unshelled larvae. In shelled larvae, the intensity of birefringence decreased under low pH conditions, suggesting a reduction in shell mineralization. Since these biological effects were observed for pH values expected by 2100, ocean acidification may have potentially negative consequences for larval recruitment and persistence of abalone populations in the near future.
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Nathalie Wessel, Sophie Martin, Aïcha Badou, Philippe Dubois, Sylvain Huchette, et al.. Effect of CO2–induced ocean acidification on the early development and shell mineralization of the European abalone (Haliotis tuberculata). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Elsevier, 2018, 508, pp.52 - 63. ⟨10.1016/j.jembe.2018.08.005⟩. ⟨hal-01912239⟩

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