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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 665:1-18 (2021)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13715

FEATURE ARTICLE
Combined effects of ocean acidification and elevated temperature on feeding, growth, and physiological processes of Antarctic krill Euphausia superba

Grace K. Saba1,*, Abigail B. Bockus2, C. Tracy Shaw3, Brad A. Seibel3

1Center for Ocean Observing Leadership, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, USA
2Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin, Louisiana 70344, USA
3College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Antarctic krill Euphausia superba is a key species in the Southern Ocean, where its habitat is projected to undergo continued warming and increases in pCO2. Experiments during 2 summer field seasons at Palmer Station, Antarctica, investigated the independent and interactive effects of elevated temperature and pCO2 (decreased pH) on feeding, growth, acid-base physiology, metabolic rate, and survival of adult Antarctic krill. Ingestion and clearance rates of chlorophyll were depressed under low pH (7.7) compared to ambient pH (8.1) after a 48 h acclimation period, but this difference disappeared after a 21 d acclimation. Growth rates were negligible and frequently negative, but were significantly more negative at high (3°C, -0.03 mm d-1) compared to ambient temperature (0°C, -0.01 mm d-1) with no effect of pH. Modest elevations in tissue total CO2 and tissue pH were apparent at low pH but were short-lived. Metabolic rate increased with temperature but was suppressed at low pH in smaller but not larger krill. Although effects of elevated temperature and/or decreased pH were mostly sublethal, mortality was higher at high temperature/low pH (58%) compared to ambient temperature/pH or ambient temperature/low pH (>90%). This study identified 3 dominant patterns: (1) shorter-term effects were primarily pH-dependent; (2) krill compensated for lower pH relatively quickly; and (3) longer-term effects on krill growth and survival were strongly driven by temperature with little to no pH effect.


KEY WORDS: Antarctic krill · Ocean acidification · Ocean warming · Feeding · Growth · Physiology · Metabolism · Survival


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Cite this article as: Saba GK, Bockus AB, Shaw CT, Seibel BA (2021) Combined effects of ocean acidification and elevated temperature on feeding, growth, and physiological processes of Antarctic krill Euphausia superba. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 665:1-18. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13715

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