Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
14 May 2013
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
Fertilization success of an arctic sea urchin species, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (O. F. Müller, 1776) under CO2-induced ocean acidification
D. Bögner1, U. Bickmeyer1, and A. Köhler1,2 1Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
2Jacobs University Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Abstract. Sea urchins as broadcasting spawners, release their gametes into open water for fertilization, thus being particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification. In this study, we assessed the effects of different pH scenarios on fertilization success of Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, collected at Spitsbergen, Arctic. We achieved acidification by bubbling CO2 into filtered seawater using partial pressures (pCO2) of 180, 380, 980, 1400 and 3000 μatm}. Untreated filtered seawater was used as control. We recorded fertilization rates and diagnosed morphological aberrations after post-fertilization periods of 1 h and 3 h under different exposure conditions in experiments with and without pre-incubation of the eggs prior to fertilization. In parallel, we conducted measurements of intracellular pH changes using BCECF/AM in unfertilized eggs exposed to a range of acidified seawater. We observed increasing rates of polyspermy in relation to higher seawater pCO2, which might be due to failures in the formation of the fertilization envelope. In addition, our experiments showed anomalies in fertilized eggs: incomplete lifting-off of the fertilization envelope and blebs of the hyaline layer. Other drastic malformations consisted of constriction, extrusion, vacuolization or degeneration (observed as a gradient from the cortex to the central region of the cell) of the egg cytoplasm, and irregular cell divisions until 2- to 4-cell stages. The intracellular pH (pHi) decreased significantly from 1400 μatm on. All results indicate a decreasing fertilization success at CO2 concentrations from 1400 μatm upwards. Exposure time to low pH might be a threatening factor for the cellular buffer capacity, viability, and development after fertilization.

Citation: Bögner, D., Bickmeyer, U., and Köhler, A.: Fertilization success of an arctic sea urchin species, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (O. F. Müller, 1776) under CO2-induced ocean acidification, Biogeosciences Discuss.,, 2013.
D. Bögner et al.


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