Variable metabolic responses of Skagerrak invertebrates to low O 2 and high CO 2 scenarios

Fontanini, Aisling; Steckbauer, Alexandra; Dupont, Sam; Duarte, Carlos M.

Coastal hypoxia is a problem that is predicted to increase rapidly in the future. At the same time, we are facing rising atmospheric inline-formulaCO2 concentrations, which are increasing the inline-formulapCO2 and acidity of coastal waters. These two drivers are well studied in isolation; however, the coupling of low inline-formulaO2 and pH is likely to provide a more significant respiratory challenge for slow moving and sessile invertebrates than is currently predicted. The Gullmar Fjord in Sweden is home to a range of habitats, such as sand and mud flats, seagrass beds, exposed and protected shorelines and rocky bottoms. Moreover, it has a history of both natural and anthropogenically enhanced hypoxia as well as North Sea upwelling, where salty water reaches the surface towards the end of summer and early autumn. A total of 11 species (Crustacean, Chordate, Echinoderm and Mollusc) of these ecosystems were exposed to four different treatments (high or low oxygen and low or high inline-formulaCO2; varying inline-formulapCO2 of 450 and 1300 inline-formulaµatm and inline-formulaO2 concentrations of 2–3.5 and 9–10 mg Linline-formula−1) and respiration measured after 3 and 6 days, respectively. This allowed us to evaluate respiration responses of species of contrasting habitats to single and multiple stressors. Results show that respiratory responses were highly species specific as we observed both synergetic as well as antagonistic responses, and neither phylum nor habitat explained trends in respiratory responses. Management plans should avoid the generalized assumption that combined stressors will result in multiplicative effects and focus attention on alleviating hypoxia in the region.

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Fontanini, Aisling / Steckbauer, Alexandra / Dupont, Sam / et al: Variable metabolic responses of Skagerrak invertebrates to low O2 and high CO2 scenarios. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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