Effects of ocean acidification with pCO2 diurnal fluctuations on survival and larval shell formation of Ezo abalone, Haliotis discus hannai

Mar Environ Res. 2018 Mar:134:28-36. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.12.015. Epub 2017 Dec 19.


This study assessed the effects of constant and diurnally fluctuating pCO2 on development and shell formation of larval abalone Haliotis discus hannai. The larvae was exposed to different pCO2 conditions; constant [450, 800, or 1200 μatm in the first experiment (Exp. I), 450 or 780 μatm in the second experiment (Exp. II)] or diurnally fluctuating pCO2 (800 ± 400 or 1200 ± 400 μatm in Exp. I, 450 ± 80, 780 ± 200 or 780 ± 400 μatm in Exp. II). Mortality, malformation rates or shell length of larval abalone were not significantly different among the 450, 800, and 800 ± 400 μatm pCO2 treatments. Meanwhile, significantly higher malformation rates and smaller shells were detected in the 1200 and 1200 ± 400 μatm pCO2 treatments than in the 450 μatm pCO2 treatment. The negative impacts were greater in the 1200 ± 400 μatm than in the 1200 μatm. Shell length and malformation rate of larval abalone were related with aragonite saturation state (Ω-aragonite) in experimental seawater, and greatly changed around 1.1 of Ω-aragonite which corresponded to 1000-1300 μatm pCO2. These results indicate that there is a pCO2 threshold associated with Ω-aragonite in the seawater, and that pCO2 fluctuations produce additional negative impacts on abalone when above the threshold. Clear relationships were detected between abalone fitness and the integrated pCO2 value over the threshold, indicating that the effects of OA on development and shell formation of larval abalone can be determined by intensity and time of exposure to pCO2 over the threshold.

Keywords: Climate change; Diel fluctuation; Gastropods; Larval shell; Periodic pCO(2) amplitude; Survival; pH.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Shells / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Calcium Carbonate / chemistry
  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Gastropoda / physiology*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Larva
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Seawater / chemistry*


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Calcium Carbonate