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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2017-85
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2017-85
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 21 Mar 2017

Submitted as: research article | 21 Mar 2017

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This preprint has been retracted.

Changing mineralogical properties of shells may help minimize the impact of hypoxia-induced metabolic depression on calcification

Jonathan Y. S. Leung1,2 and Napo K. M. Cheung2,3 Jonathan Y. S. Leung and Napo K. M. Cheung
  • 1School of Biological Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
  • 2Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
  • 3Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract. The occurrence of hypoxia becomes more prevalent in coastal and marine waters due to ocean warming and human-induced eutrophication. While hypoxia is expected to hamper calcification via metabolic depression, recent studies showed that some calcifying organisms can maintain normal shell growth. The underlying mechanism is unclear, but may be associated with energy reallocation or mineralogical plasticity which reduces the energy demand for calcification. We tested the hypothesis that shell growth can be maintained under hypoxia by compromising the mechanical strength of shells as the trade-off, or changing the mineralogical properties of shells. The respiration rate, clearance rate, shell growth rate and shell properties of a calcifying polychaete (Hydroides diramphus) were determined under normoxia or hypoxia in two contexts (life-threatening and unthreatened conditions). Despite the reduced respiration rate and clearance rate under hypoxia, harder and stiffer shells were still produced at a higher rate under life-threatening conditions. The maintenance of this anti-predator response is possibly attributed to the reduced energy demand for calcification by altering mineralogical properties (e.g. increased calcite to aragonite ratio). Our findings suggest that this compensatory mechanism may enable calcifying organisms to maintain calcification under hypoxia and acclimate to the future metabolically stressful environment.

This preprint has been retracted.

Jonathan Y. S. Leung and Napo K. M. Cheung

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Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Jonathan Y. S. Leung and Napo K. M. Cheung

Jonathan Y. S. Leung and Napo K. M. Cheung

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Short summary
Hypoxia has become more prevalent and probably affects the shell growth of calcifying organisms via metabolic depression. Yet, inconsistent results have been found. We examined the potential compensatory mechanism to hypoxia and found that a calcifying polychaete can maintain shell growth and mechanical strength under hypoxia possibly by changing mineralogical properties of shells. This compensatory mechanism may enable calcifying organisms to persist under metabolically stressful environment.
Hypoxia has become more prevalent and probably affects the shell growth of calcifying organisms...
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