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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
02 May 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.
Ocean acidification dampens warming and contamination effects on the physiological stress response of a commercially important fish
Eduardo Sampaio1,*, Ana R. Lopes1,2,*, Sofia Francisco1, Jose R. Paula1, Marta Pimentel1, Ana L. Maulvault1,3,4, Tiago Repolho1, Tiago F. Grilo1, Pedro Pousão-Ferreira3, António Marques3,4, and Rui Rosa1 1MARE – Marine Environmental Sciences Centre & Laboratório Marítimo da Guia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Nossa Senhora do Cabo 939, Cascais 2750-374, Portugal
2UCIBIO, REQUIMTE, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Quinta da Torre, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
3Divisão de Aquacultura e Valorização (DivAV), Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA, I.P.), Av. Brasília, Lisboa 1449-006, Portugal
4Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), University of Porto, Rua das Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
Abstract. Increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emissions are leading to changes in ocean temperature and carbonate chemistry, the so-called ocean warming and acidification phenomena, respectively. Methylmercury (MeHg) is the most abundant form of mercury (Hg), well-known for its toxic effects on biota and environmental persistency. Despite more than likely co-occurrence in future oceans, the interactive effects of these stressors are largely unknown. Here we assessed organ-dependent Hg accumulation (gills, liver and muscle) within a warming (ΔT = 4 ºC) and acidification (ΔpCO2 = 1100 µatm) context, and the respective phenotypic responses of molecular chaperone and antioxidant enzymatic machineries, in a commercially important fish (the meagre Argyrosomus regius). After 30 days of exposure, although no mortalities were observed in any treatments, Hg concentration was significantly enhanced under warming conditions, significantly more so in the liver. On the other hand, increased CO2 decreased Hg accumulation and, despite negative effects prompted as a sole stressor, consistently elicited an antagonistic effect with temperature and contamination on oxidative stress (catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione-S-tranferase activities) and heat shock (Hsp70 levels) responses. We argue that the mechanistic interactions are grounded on simultaneous increase in excessive hydrogen (H+) and reactive oxygen species (e.g. O2) free radicals, and subsequent chemical reaction equilibrium balancing. Additional multi-stressor experiments are needed to understand such biochemical mechanism and further disentangle interactive (additive, synergistic or antagonistic) stressor effects on fish ecophysiology in the oceans of tomorrow.

Citation: Sampaio, E., Lopes, A. R., Francisco, S., Paula, J. R., Pimentel, M., Maulvault, A. L., Repolho, T., Grilo, T. F., Pousão-Ferreira, P., Marques, A., and Rosa, R.: Ocean acidification dampens warming and contamination effects on the physiological stress response of a commercially important fish, Biogeosciences Discuss.,, 2017.
Eduardo Sampaio et al.
Eduardo Sampaio et al.


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Short summary
Through controlled experimental approach, we found that ocean acidification offsets physiological stress prompted by ocean warming and methylmercury contamination. These intertwined mechanisms have great implications in the future fitness of, not only Argyrosomus regius, but also of other teleost fish of commercial and ecological importance, in future ocean scenarios. Our research highlights the need of multi-stressor studies in order to accurately predict future individual and stock conditions.
Through controlled experimental approach, we found that ocean acidification offsets...