Marine Biology

, Volume 160, Issue 8, pp 1995–2006 | Cite as

Impact of ocean acidification on escape performance of the king scallop, Pecten maximus, from Norway

  • Burgel SchalkhausserEmail author
  • Christian Bock
  • Kristina Stemmer
  • Thomas Brey
  • Hans-O Pörtner
  • Gisela Lannig
Original Paper


The ongoing process of ocean acidification already affects marine life, and according to the concept of oxygen and capacity limitation of thermal tolerance, these effects may be intensified at the borders of the thermal tolerance window. We studied the effects of elevated CO2 concentrations on clapping performance and energy metabolism of the commercially important scallop Pecten maximus. Individuals were exposed for at least 30 days to 4 °C (winter) or to 10 °C (spring/summer) at either ambient (0.04 kPa, normocapnia) or predicted future PCO2 levels (0.11 kPa, hypercapnia). Cold-exposed (4 °C) groups revealed thermal stress exacerbated by PCO2 indicated by a high mortality overall and its increase from 55 % under normocapnia to 90 % under hypercapnia. We therefore excluded the 4 °C groups from further experimentation. Scallops at 10 °C showed impaired clapping performance following hypercapnic exposure. Force production was significantly reduced although the number of claps was unchanged between normocapnia- and hypercapnia-exposed scallops. The difference between maximal and resting metabolic rate (aerobic scope) of the hypercapnic scallops was significantly reduced compared with normocapnic animals, indicating a reduction in net aerobic scope. Our data confirm that ocean acidification narrows the thermal tolerance range of scallops resulting in elevated vulnerability to temperature extremes and impairs the animal’s performance capacity with potentially detrimental consequences for its fitness and survival in the ocean of tomorrow.


Ocean Acidification Rest Metabolic Rate Exhaustive Exercise PCO2 Level Metabolic Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Øivind Strand and the aquaculture Kvitsøy Edelskjell AS for their support in animal supply. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of M. Bullwinkel, N. Klassen and C. Otten, who assisted in animal care and water analysis during the incubation experiments. We thank O. Heilmayer for helpful discussion, Are Olsen for supporting information on PCO2 values around Stavanger and E. Schaum for language check. We thank the two anonymous reviewers and the editor, Sam Dupont, for their constructive comments on the manuscript. Burgel Schalkhausser was funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)-funded project “Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification” (BIOACID, FKZ 03F0608B). The study is part of the “Polar regions and coasts in a changing Earth system” (PACES) research programme of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Burgel Schalkhausser
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Bock
    • 1
  • Kristina Stemmer
    • 2
  • Thomas Brey
    • 2
  • Hans-O Pörtner
    • 1
  • Gisela Lannig
    • 1
  1. 1.Integrative ÖkophysiologieAlfred Wegener Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung in der Helmholtz-GemeinschaftBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.Funktionelle ÖkologieAlfred Wegener Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung in der Helmholtz-GemeinschaftBremerhavenGermany

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