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Long-term mesocosms study of the effects of ocean acidification on growth and physiology of the sea urchin Echinometra mathaei
Moulin, L.; Grosjean, P.; Leblud, J.; Batigny, A.; Collard, M.; Dubois, P. (2015). Long-term mesocosms study of the effects of ocean acidification on growth and physiology of the sea urchin Echinometra mathaei. Mar. Environ. Res. 103: 103-114. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.11.009
In: Marine Environmental Research. Applied Science Publishers: Barking. ISSN 0141-1136, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279039 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Echinometra mathaei (Blainville, 1825) [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Ocean acidification; Sea urchins; Echinometra mathaei; Mesocosms;Acid-base regulation; Metabolism; Growth; Long-term; Coral reefs

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Abstract
    Recent research on the impact of ocean acidification (OA) has highlighted that it is important to conduct long-term experiments including ecosystem interactions in order to better predict the possible effects of elevated pCO2. The goal of the present study was to assess the long-term impact of OA on a suite of physiological parameters of the sea urchin Echinometra mathaei in more realistic food conditions. A long-term experiment was conducted in mesocosms provided with an artificial reef in which the urchins principally fed on algae attached to the reef calcareous substrate. Contrasted pH conditions (pH 7.7 vs control) were established gradually over six months and then maintained for seven more months. Acid–base parameters of the coelomic fluid, growth and respiration rate were monitored throughout the experiment. Results indicate that E. mathaei should be able to regulate its extracellular pH at long-term, through bicarbonate compensation. We suggest that, within sea urchins species, the ability to accumulate bicarbonates is related to their phylogeny but also on the quantity and quality of available food. Growth, respiration rate and mechanical properties of the test were not affected. This ability to resist OA levels expected for 2100 at long-term could determine the future of coral reefs, particularly reefs where E. mathaei is the major bioeroder.

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