Oct 2, 2014

Could the acid-base status of Antarctic sea urchins indicate a better-than-expected resilience to near-future ocean acidification?

Global Change Biology
Marie CollardPhilippe Dubois

Abstract

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration alters the chemistry of the oceans towards more acidic conditions. Polar oceans are particularly affected due to their low temperature, low carbonate content and mixing patterns, for instance upwellings. Calcifying organisms are expected to be highly impacted by the decrease in the oceans' pH and carbonate ions concentration. In particular, sea urchins, members of the phylum Echinodermata, are hypothesized to be at risk due to their high-magnesium calcite skeleton. However, tolerance to ocean acidification in metazoans is first linked to acid-base regulation capacities of the extracellular fluids. No information on this is available to date for Antarctic echinoderms and inference from temperate and tropical studies needs support. In this study, we investigated the acid-base status of 9 species of sea urchins (3 cidaroids, 2 regular euechinoids and 4 irregular echinoids). It appears that Antarctic regular euechinoids seem equipped with similar acid-base regulation systems as tropical and temperate regular euechinoids but could rely on more passive ion transfer systems, minimizing energy requirements. Cidaroids have an acid-base status similar to that of tropical cidaroids. Ther...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Magnesium Measurement
Impacted Tooth
Extracellular Fluid
Skeletal System
Acidification - ActCode
Larva
Sea urchin (invertebrate)
Acids
Skeleton
Carbon Dioxide

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