Ocean acidification causes no detectable effect on swimming activity and body size in a common copepod
Ocean acidification can impair an animal’s physiological performance and energetically demanding activities such as swimming. Behavioural abnormalities and changed activity in response to ocean acidification are reported in fish and crustacean species. We studied swimming activity in the calanoid copepod Pseudocalanus acuspes in response to near-future ocean acidification. Water and copepods were sampled from ten mesocosms deployed on the Swedish west coast. The experiments were conducted on animals reared in the mesocosms for 2 months during spring. Copepods were filmed after long-term (chronic) high-CO2, and after 20 h acute exposure to CO2. There was no significant effect of CO2 on copepods in chronic high-CO2, nor significant effect after the 20 h acute exposure. In addition, we measured prosome length from a large number of adult copepods, but no effect of acidification on body size was found. In this study, P. acuspes did not show sensitivity to near-future pCO2 levels. Even if a number of papers suggest that copepods seem robust to future ocean acidification, interaction between multiple stress factors, such as elevated temperature, hypoxia and salinity changes may impair a copepod’s ability to resist lowered pH.
KeywordsClimate change PH Kattegat
We thank the entire KOSMOS team from GEOMAR, Kiel for providing the opportunity to participate in the mesocosm project. Great thanks to Andrea Ludwig for organizing logistics. We thank Maria Alguero, Henriette Horn and Julia Lange for the joint sampling effort during our stay and the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences Kristineberg for providing excellent working facilities. We also thank Andreas Lindén for valuable input on the statistical models and Lara Valentič for great company during the trip and help in the lab. The study was supported by the Academy of Finland (Project No. 276947), Victoriastiftelsen and Walter och Andrée de Nottbecks stiftelse.
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