Contrasting effects of ocean acidification on reproduction in reef fishes


Differences in the sensitivity of marine species to ocean acidification will influence the structure of marine communities in the future. Reproduction is critical for individual and population success, yet is energetically expensive and could be adversely affected by rising CO2 levels in the ocean. We investigated the effects of projected future CO2 levels on reproductive output of two species of coral reef damselfish, Amphiprion percula and Acanthochromis polyacanthus. Adult breeding pairs were maintained at current-day control (446 µatm), moderate (652 µatm) or high CO2 (912 µatm) for a 9-month period that included the summer breeding season. The elevated CO2 treatments were consistent with CO2 levels projected by 2100 under moderate (RCP6) and high (RCP8) emission scenarios. Reproductive output increased in A. percula, with 45-75 % more egg clutches produced and a 47-56 % increase in the number of eggs per clutch in the two elevated CO2 treatments. In contrast, reproductive output decreased at high CO2 in Ac. polyacanthus, with approximately one-third as many clutches produced compared with controls. Egg survival was not affected by CO2 for A. percula, but was greater in elevated CO2 for Ac. polyacanthus. Hatching success was also greater for Ac. polyacanthus at elevated CO2, but there was no effect of CO2 treatments on offspring size. Despite the variation in reproductive output, body condition of adults did not differ between control and CO2 treatments in either species. Our results demonstrate different effects of high CO2 on fish reproduction, even among species within the same family. A greater understanding of the variation in effects of ocean acidification on reproductive performance is required to predict the consequences for future populations of marine organisms.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2015) 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 is 2016-05-06.

Supplement to: Welch, Megan J; Munday, Philip L (2015): Contrasting effects of ocean acidification on reproduction in reef fishes. Coral Reefs, 35(2), 485-493

Related Identifier
Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Welch, Megan J; Munday, Philip L (ORCID: 0000-0001-9725-2498)
Publisher PANGAEA
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2016
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 1221 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (146.490 LON, -18.620 LAT)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2012-09-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2012-09-30T00:00:00Z