The combined impacts of future scenarios of ocean acidification and global warming on the larvae of a cold-eurythermal spider crab, Hyas araneus L., were investigated in one of its southernmost populations (living around Helgoland, southern North Sea, 54°N) and one of the northernmost populations (Svalbard, North Atlantic, 79°N). Larvae were exposed at temperatures of 3, 9 and 15°C to present day normocapnia (380 ppm CO2) and to CO2 conditions expected for the near or medium-term future (710 ppm by 2100 and 3000 ppm CO2 by 2300 and beyond). Larval development time and biochemical composition were studied in the larval stages Zoea I, II, and Megalopa. Permanent differences in instar duration between both populations were detected in all stages, likely as a result of evolutionary temperature adaptation. With the exception of Zoea II at 3°C and under all CO2 conditions, development in all instars from Svalbard was delayed compared to those from Helgoland, under all conditions. Most prominently, development was much longer and fewer specimens morphosed to the first crab instar in the Megalopa from Svalbard than from Helgoland. Enhanced CO2 levels (710 and particularly 3000 ppm), caused extended duration of larval development and reduced larval growth (measured as dry mass) and fitness (decreasing C/N ratio, a proxy of the lipid content). Such effects were strongest in the zoeal stages in Svalbard larvae, and during the Megalopa instar in Helgoland larvae.
Supplement to: Walther, Kathleen; Anger, Klaus; Pörtner, Hans-Otto (2010): Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the larval development of the spider crab Hyas araneus from different latitudes (54° vs 79°N). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 417, 159-170