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Acid-base physiology response to ocean acidification of two ecologically and economically important holothuroids from contrasting habitats, Holothuria scabra and Holothuria parva
Collard, M.; Eeckhaut, I.; Dehairs, F.; Dubois, P. (2014). Acid-base physiology response to ocean acidification of two ecologically and economically important holothuroids from contrasting habitats, Holothuria scabra and Holothuria parva. Environm. Sc. & Poll. Res. 21(23): 13602-13614. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-3259-z
In: Environmental Science and Pollution Research. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0944-1344, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279023 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Echinodermata [WoRMS]; Holothuria (Selenkothuria) parva Krauss in Lampert, 1885 [WoRMS]; Holothuria (Metriatyla) scabra Jaeger, 1833 [WoRMS]; Holothuroidea [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Sea cucumbers; Holothuria parva; Holothuria scabra; Ocean acidification;Acid-base regulation; Echinoderms

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Abstract
    Sea cucumbers are dominant invertebrates in several ecosystems such as coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangroves. As bioturbators, they have an important ecological role in making available calcium carbonate and nutrients to the rest of the community. However, due to their commercial value, they face overexploitation in the natural environment. On top of that, occurring ocean acidification could impact these organisms, considered sensitive as echinoderms are osmoconformers, high-magnesium calcite producers and have a low metabolism. As a first investigation of the impact of ocean acidification on sea cucumbers, we tested the impact of short-term (6 to 12 days) exposure to ocean acidification (seawater pH 7.7 and 7.4) on two sea cucumbers collected in SW Madagascar, Holothuria scabra, a high commercial value species living in the seagrass meadows, and H. parva, inhabiting the mangroves. The former lives in a habitat with moderate fluctuations of seawater chemistry (driven by day–night differences) while the second lives in a highly variable intertidal environment. In both species, pH of the coelomic fluid was significantly negatively affected by reduced seawater pH, with a pronounced extracellular acidosis in individuals maintained at pH 7.7 and 7.4. This acidosis was due to an increased dissolved inorganic carbon content and pCO2 of the coelomic fluid, indicating a limited diffusion of the CO2 towards the external medium. However, respiration and ammonium excretion rates were not affected. No evidence of accumulation of bicarbonate was observed to buffer the coelomic fluid pH. If this acidosis stays uncompensated for when facing long-term exposure, other processes could be affected in both species, eventually leading to impacts on their ecological role.

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