Effects of ocean acidification on the early life history of a tropical marine fish
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2009, 276 (1671), pp. 3275 - 3283
- Issue Date:
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Little is known about how fishes and other non-calcifying marine organisms will respond to the increased levels of dissolved CO2 and reduced sea water pH that are predicted to occur over the coming century. We reared eggs and larvae of the orange clownfish, Amphiprion percula, in sea water simulating a range of ocean acidification scenarios for the next 50-100 years (current day, 550, 750 and 1030 ppm atmospheric CO2). CO2 acidification had no detectable effect on embryonic duration, egg survival and size at hatching. In contrast, CO2 acidification tended to increase the growth rate of larvae. By the time of settlement (11 days post-hatching), larvae from some parental pairs were 15 to 18 per cent longer and 47 to 52 per cent heavier in acidified water compared with controls. Larvae from other parents were unaffected by CO2 acidification. Elevated CO2 and reduced pH had no effect on the maximum swimming speed of settlement-stage larvae. There was, however, a weak positive relationship between length and swimming speed. Large size is usually considered to be advantageous for larvae and newly settled juveniles. Consequently, these results suggest that levels of ocean acidification likely to be experienced in the near future might not, in isolation, significantly disadvantage the growth and performance of larvae from benthic-spawning marine fishes. © 2009 The Royal Society.
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