Khalil, Munawar ORCID:, Doo, Steve ORCID:, Stuhr, Marleen ORCID: and Westphal, Hildegard ORCID: (2022) Ocean Warming Amplifies the Effects of Ocean Acidification on Skeletal Mineralogy and Microstructure in the Asterinid Starfish Aquilonastra yairi. J. Mar. Sci. Eng., 10 (8). p. 1065. DOI

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Ocean acidification and ocean warming compromise the capacity of calcifying marine organisms to generate and maintain their skeletons. While many marine calcifying organisms precipitate low-Mg calcite or aragonite, the skeleton of echinoderms consists of more soluble Mg-calcite. To assess the impact of exposure to elevated temperature and increased pCO2 on the skeleton of echinoderms, in particular the mineralogy and microstructure, the starfish Aquilonastra yairi (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) was exposed for 90 days to simulated ocean warming (27 °C and 32 °C) and ocean acidification (455 µatm, 1052 µatm, 2066 µatm) conditions. The results indicate that temperature is the major factor controlling the skeletal Mg (Mg/Ca ratio and Mgnorm ratio), but not for skeletal Sr (Sr/Ca ratio and Srnorm ratio) and skeletal Ca (Canorm ratio) in A. yairi. Nevertheless, inter-individual variability in skeletal Sr and Ca ratios increased with higher temperature. Elevated pCO2 did not induce any statistically significant element alterations of the skeleton in all treatments over the incubation time, but increased pCO2 concentrations might possess an indirect effect on skeletal mineral ratio alteration. The influence of increased pCO2 was more relevant than that of increased temperature on skeletal microstructures. pCO2 as a sole stressor caused alterations on stereom structure and degradation on the skeletal structure of A. yairi, whereas temperature did not; however, skeletons exposed to elevated pCO2 and high temperature show a strongly altered skeleton structure compared to ambient temperature. These results indicate that ocean warming might exacerbate the skeletal maintaining mechanisms of the starfish in a high pCO2 environment and could potentially modify the morphology and functions of the starfish skeleton.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA2
Research affiliation: Biogeochemistry and Geology > Geoecology & Carbonate Sedimentology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
ISSN: 2077-1312
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2022 10:18
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2022 11:34

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