The transition from the last pelagic larval stage to the first benthic juvenile stage in the complex life cycle of marine invertebrates, such as the American lobster Homarus americanus, a species of high economic importance, represents a delicate phase in these species development. Under future elevated pCO2 conditions, ocean acidification and other elevated pCO2 events can negatively affect crustaceans. This said their effects on the benthic settlement phase are virtually unknown. This study aimed to identify the effects of elevated seawater pCO2 on stage V American lobsters exposed to seven pCO2 levels. The survival, development time, metabolic and feeding rates, carapace composition, and energy metabolism enzyme function were investigated. Results suggested an increase in mortality, slower development and an increase in aerobic capacity with increasing pCO2. Our study points to potential reduction in juvenile recruitment success as seawater pCO2 increases, thus foreshadowing important socio-economic repercussions for the lobster fisheries and industry.
Keywords: CO(2) leakages; Carbon capture and storage; Crustacean; Energy metabolism; Fisheries; Metabolic rate; Mineralisation; Mitochondria; Moult; Ocean acidification.
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