Metabolic responses to temperature stress under elevated pCO2 in the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata
In the current context of environmental change, ocean acidification is predicted to affect the cellular processes, physiology and behaviour of all marine organisms, impacting survival, growth and reproduction. In relation to thermal tolerance limits, the effects of elevated pCO2 could be expected to be more pronounced at the upper limits of the thermal tolerance window. Our study focused on Crepidula fornicata, an invasive gastropod which colonized shallow waters around European coasts during the 20th century. We investigated the effects of 10 weeks' exposure to current (380 µatm) and elevated (550, 750, 1,000 µatm) pCO2 on this engineer species using an acute temperature increase (1 °C 12 h−1) as the test. Respiration rates were measured on both males (small individuals) and females (large individuals). Mortality increased suddenly from 34 °C, particularly in females. Respiration rate in C. fornicata increased linearly with temperature between 18 and 34 °C, but no differences were detected between the different pCO2 conditions either in the regressions between respiration rate and temperature or in Q10 values. In the same way, condition indices were similar in all the pCO2 treatments at the end of the experiment, but decreased from the beginning of the experiment. This species was highly resistant to acute exposure to high temperature regardless of pCO2 levels, even though food was limited during the experiment. Crepidula fornicata appears to have either developed resistance mechanisms or a strong phenotypic plasticity to deal with fluctuations of physicochemical parameters in its habitat. This suggests that invasive species may be more resistant to future environmental changes than its native competitors.
Authors: Noisette, Fanny, Richard, Joelle, Le Fur, Ines, Peck, Lloyd S., Davoult, Dominique, Martin, Sophie