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MEPS 687:147-162 (2022)  -  DOI:

Impaired hatching exacerbates the high CO2 sensitivity of embryonic sand lance Ammodytes dubius

Hannes Baumann1,*, Lucas F. Jones1, Christopher S. Murray2, Samantha A. Siedlecki1, Michael Alexander3, Emma L. Cross4

1University of Connecticut, Department of Marine Sciences, 1080 Shennecossett Road, Groton, CT 06340, USA
2School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and Washington Ocean Acidification Center, University of Washington, 3710 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
3NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80305-3328, USA
4Southern Connecticut State University, Department of the Environment, Geography, and Marine Sciences, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT 06515, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Rising oceanic partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) could affect many traits in fish early life stages, but only few species to date have shown direct CO2-induced survival reductions. This might partly be because species from less CO2-variable, offshore environments in higher latitudes are currently underrepresented in the literature. We conducted new experimental work on northern sand lance Ammodytes dubius, a key forage fish on offshore Northwest Atlantic sand banks, which was recently suggested to be highly CO2-sensitive. In 2 complementary trials, we produced embryos from wild, Gulf of Maine spawners and reared them at several pCO2 levels (~400-2000 µatm) in combination with static (6, 7, 10°C) and dynamic (10→5°C) temperature treatments. Again, we consistently observed large, CO2-induced reductions in hatching success (-23% at 1000 µatm, -61% at ~2000 µatm), and the effects were temperature-independent. To distinguish pCO2 effects during development from potential impacts on hatching itself, some embryos were switched between high and control pCO2 treatments just prior to hatch. This indeed altered hatching patterns, consistent with the CO2-impaired hatching hypothesis. High CO2 also delayed the day of first hatch in one trial and peak hatch in the other, where later-hatched larvae were of similar size but with progressively less endogenous energy reserves. For context, we extracted seasonal pCO2 projections for Stellwagen Bank (Gulf of Maine) from regional ensemble simulations, which indicated a CO2-induced reduction in sand lance hatching success to 71% of contemporary levels by 2100. The species’ unusual CO2 sensitivity has large ecological and scientific ramifications that warrant future in-depth research.

KEY WORDS: Ocean acidification · CO2-impaired hatching · Dynamic temperature · Endogenous energy reserves · Regional pCO2 projections

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Cite this article as: Baumann H, Jones LF, Murray CS, Siedlecki SA, Alexander M, Cross EL (2022) Impaired hatching exacerbates the high CO2 sensitivity of embryonic sand lance Ammodytes dubius. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 687:147-162.

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