Posted on OA: 19 May 2014
Decreases in ocean pH through ocean acidification has shown to have direct negative impacts on the early life stages of the Pacific purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Research has suggested that multiple stressors could exacerbate, cancel, or even alleviate the impacts of ocean acidification on echinoderms. This study assessed the combined effects of changes in pCO2 concentrations (390, 800, 1500 ppm), salinities (28, 31, 34 ppt) and temperatures (12, 15, 18°C) on fertilization and larval development in S. purpuratus. Increased pCO2 was the predominant stressor, with additive and antagonistic effects from temperature changes, and no effect from salinity changes. Stressor combinations significantly decreased the rate of normal larval development by 28 – 68%, whereas fertilization and larval survival were unaffected. The strong impact on normal larval development likely indicates that later development stages could be detrimentally affected and could influence the population dynamics of S. purpuratus.
Stavroff L.-A., 2014. Effects of ocean acidification combined with multiple stressors on early life stages of the pacific purple sea urchin. MSc thesis, Royal Roads University, 87 pp. Thesis.