Seawater carbonate chemistry and olfactory sensitivity of Gilthead Seabream, supplement to: Velez, Zélia; Roggatz, Christina C; Benoit, David M; Hardege, Jörg D; Hubbard, Peter C (2019): Short- and Medium-Term Exposure to Ocean Acidification Reduces Olfactory Sensitivity in Gilthead Seabream. Frontiers in Physiology, 10


The effects of ocean acidification on fish are only partially understood. Studies on olfaction are mostly limited to behavioral alterations of coral reef fish; studies on temperate species and/or with economic importance are scarce. The current study evaluated the effects of short- and medium-term exposure to ocean acidification on the olfactory system of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), and attempted to explain observed differences in sensitivity by changes in the protonation state of amino acid odorants. Short-term exposure to elevated PCO2 decreased olfactory sensitivity to some odorants, such as L-serine, L-leucine, L-arginine, L-glutamate, and conspecific intestinal fluid, but not to others, such as L-glutamine and conspecific bile fluid. Seabream were unable to compensate for high PCO2 levels in the medium term; after 4 weeks exposure to high PCO2, the olfactory sensitivity remained lower in elevated PCO2 water. The decrease in olfactory sensitivity in high PCO2 water could be partly attributed to changes in the protonation state of the odorants and/or their receptor(s); we illustrate how protonation due to reduced pH causes changes in the charge distribution of odorant molecules, an essential component for ligand-receptor interaction. However, there are other mechanisms involved. At a histological level, the olfactory epithelium contained higher densities of mucus cells in fish kept in high CO2 water, and a shift in pH of the mucus they produced to more neutral. These differences suggest a physiological response of the olfactory epithelium to lower pH and/or high CO2 levels, but an inability to fully counteract the effects of acidification on olfactory sensitivity. Therefore, the current study provides evidence for a direct, medium term, global effect of ocean acidification on olfactory sensitivity in fish, and possibly other marine organisms, and suggests a partial explanatory mechanism.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2019) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation by seacarb is 2019-11-08.

Related Identifier
Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Velez, Zélia; Roggatz, Christina C; Benoit, David M; Hardege, Jörg D; Hubbard, Peter C
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2019
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 40156 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Temporal Coverage Begin 2017-01-21T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2017-12-11T00:00:00Z