Seawater carbonate chemistry and skeletal integrity of a marine keystone predator (Asterias rubens)

DOI

The current increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration induces changes in the seawater carbonate system resulting in decreased pH and calcium carbonate saturation state, a phenomenon called ocean acidification (OA). OA has long been considered as a major threat to echinoderms because their extensive endoskeleton is made of high‑magnesium calcite, one of the most soluble forms of calcium carbonate. Numerous studies addressed this question in sea urchins, but very few questioned the impact of OA on the sea star skeleton, although members of this taxon do not compensate their extracellular pH, contrary to most sea urchins. In the present study, adults of the common sea star, Asterias rubens from Kiel Fjord, a site experiencing natural acidification events exceeding pCO2 levels of 2500 μatm, were chronically exposed to different levels of simulated ocean acidification (pHT-SW 8.0, 7.4, 7.2), encompassing present and future conditions, for the duration of 109 days. Corrosion and mechanical properties of skeletal elements were studied using scanning electron microscopy, three-point bending tests as well as nanoindentation. The spines were significantly corroded at pHT-SW 7.4 and below while the ambulacral plates were only affected at pHT-SW 7.2. Nanoindentation of newly formed spines and ambulacral plates did not reveal significant CO2-induced differences in skeleton hardness or elasticity across treatments. Results of three-point bending tests revealed significantly reduced characteristic strength and fracture force of ambulacral plates from the median arm segment at pHT-SW 7.4 and below. These plates are those supporting the tube feet involved in the opening of bivalves during feeding and in the animal attachment to the substrate. Under reduced seawater pH, this might result in fracture of sea star plates during predation on mussel. The present results predict a possible impact of ocean acidification on the skeletal integrity of a marine keystone predator.

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 2020-05-6.

Identifier
DOI https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.917477
Related Identifier https://doi.org/10.1071/MF19167
Related Identifier https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=seacarb
Metadata Access https://ws.pangaea.de/oai/provider?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=datacite4&identifier=oai:pangaea.de:doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.917477
Provenance
Creator Di Giglio, Sarah; Lein, E; Hu, Marian Y; Stumpp, Meike; Melzner, Frank; Malet, Loïc; Pernet, Philippe; Dubois, Philippe
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2020
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
OpenAccess true
Representation
Language English
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 19579 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (10.150 LON, 54.333 LAT)