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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 373:303-309 (2008)  -  DOI:

Contribution to the Theme Section ‘Effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems’


Growth and calcification in the cephalopod Sepia officinalis under elevated seawater pCO2

Magdalena A. Gutowska1,*, Hans O. Pörtner1, Frank Melzner2

1Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
2Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR, 24105 Kiel, Germany

ABSTRACT: Ocean acidification and associated changes in seawater carbonate chemistry negatively influence calcification processes and depress metabolism in many calcifying marine invertebrates. We present data on the cephalopod mollusc Sepia officinalis, an invertebrate that is capable of not only maintaining calcification, but also growth rates and metabolism when exposed to elevated partial pressures of carbon dioxide (pCO2). During a 6 wk period, juvenile S. officinalis maintained calcification under ~4000 and ~6000 ppm CO2, and grew at the same rate with the same gross growth efficiency as did control animals. They gained approximately 4% body mass daily and increased the mass of their calcified cuttlebone by over 500%. We conclude that active cephalopods possess a certain level of pre-adaptation to long-term increments in carbon dioxide levels. Our general understanding of the mechanistic processes that limit calcification must improve before we can begin to predict what effects future ocean acidification will have on calcifying marine invertebrates.

KEY WORDS: Ocean acidification · Calcification · Metabolism · Growth · Marine invertebrate · Cephalopod · Sepia officinalis

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Cite this article as: Gutowska MA, Pörtner HO, Melzner F (2008) Growth and calcification in the cephalopod Sepia officinalis under elevated seawater pCO2. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 373:303-309.

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