Biogeosciences, 13, 3377-3385, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-3377-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
09 Jun 2016
Survival and settling of larval Macoma balthica in a large-scale mesocosm experiment at different fCO2 levels
Anna Jansson1,2, Silke Lischka3, Tim Boxhammer3, Kai G. Schulz3,4, and Joanna Norkko2 1Environmental and Marine Biology, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo, Finland
2Tvärminne Zoological Station, University of Helsinki, Hanko, Finland
3GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
4Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry, School of Environment, Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, P.O. Box 157, Lismore, NSW, Australia
Abstract. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are causing severe changes in the global inorganic carbon balance of the oceans. Associated ocean acidification is expected to pose a major threat to marine ecosystems worldwide, and it is also expected to be amplified in the Baltic Sea where the system is already exposed to relatively large natural seasonal and diel pH fluctuations. We studied the responses of larvae of the benthic key species Macoma balthica to a range of future CO2 scenarios using six  ∼  55 m3 mesocosms encompassing the entire pelagic community. The mesocosms were deployed in the northern Baltic Sea in June 2012. We focused on the survival, growth and subsequent settlement process of Macoma balthica when exposed to different levels of future CO2. The size and time to settlement of M. balthica increased along the CO2 gradient, suggesting a developmental delay. With ongoing climate change, both the frequency and extent of regularly occurring high CO2 conditions are likely to increase, and a permanent pH decrease will likely occur. The strong impact of increasing CO2 levels on early-stage bivalves is alarming as these stages are crucial for sustaining viable populations, and a failure in their recruitment would ultimately lead to negative effects on the population.

Citation: Jansson, A., Lischka, S., Boxhammer, T., Schulz, K. G., and Norkko, J.: Survival and settling of larval Macoma balthica in a large-scale mesocosm experiment at different fCO2 levels, Biogeosciences, 13, 3377-3385, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-3377-2016, 2016.
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We studied the responses of larvae of Macoma balthica to a range of future CO2 scenarios using large mesocosms encompassing the entire pelagic community. We focused on the growth and settlement process of M. balthica when exposed to future CO2 levels, and found the size and time to settlement to increase along the CO2 gradient, suggesting a developmental delay. The strong impact of increasing CO2 on early-stage bivalves is alarming as these stages are crucial for sustaining viable populations.
We studied the responses of larvae of Macoma balthica to a range of future CO2 scenarios using...
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