Seawater carbonate chemistry and survival and growth of young‑of‑the‑year golden king crab (Lithodes aequispinus)


Ocean acidification, a reduction in the pH of the oceans caused by increasing CO2, can have negative physiological effects on marine species. In this study, we examined how CO2-driven acidification affected the growth and survival of juvenile golden king crab (Lithodes aequispinus), an important fishery species in Alaska. Juveniles were reared from larvae in surface ambient pH seawater at the Kodiak Laboratory. Newly molted early benthic instar crabs were randomly assigned to one of three pH treatments: (1) surface ambient pH  8.2, (2) likely in situ ambient pH 7.8, and (3) pH 7.5. Thirty crabs were held in individual cells in each treatment for 127 days and checked daily for molting or death. Molts and dead crabs were photographed under a microscope and measured using image analysis to assess growth and morphology. Mortality was primarily associated with molting in all treatments, differed among all treatments, and was highest at pH 7.5 and lowest at ambient pH. Crabs at pH 7.5 were smaller than crabs at ambient pH at the end of the experiment, both in terms of carapace length and wet mass; had a smaller growth increment after molting; had a longer intermolt period. Carapace morphology was not affected by pH treatment. Decreased growth and increased mortality in laboratory experiments suggest that lower pH could affect golden king crab stocks and fisheries. Future work should examine if larval rearing conditions affect the juvenile response to low pH.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2021) 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 2021-1-4.

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Metadata Access
Creator Long, W Christopher; Swiney, Katherine M; Foy, Robert J
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2021
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 13935 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (179.042 LON, 51.305 LAT)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2013-03-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2013-05-31T00:00:00Z