Effects of Low pH on Early Life Stages of Atlantic Herring
Franke, A. and Clemmesen, C. 2011. Effect of ocean acidification on early life stages of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus L.). Biogeosciences 8: 3697-3707.
Seeking to answer this question for the case of the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus L.), Franke and Clemmesen conducted a study in which eggs of the fish were fertilized and incubated in artificially acidified seawater corresponding to atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 1260, 1859, 2626, 2903 and 4635 ppm and compared to a control treatment of 480 ppm CO2 until the main hatch of the herring larvae occurred, after which they say that "the development of the embryos was monitored daily and newly hatched larvae were sampled to analyze their morphometrics." So what did they find?
The two researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel (Germany) report that elevated CO2 "neither affected the embryogenesis nor the hatch rate," and they say "the results showed no linear relationship between CO2 and total length, dry weight, yolk sac area and otolith area of the newly hatched larvae." Given such findings, Franke and Clemmesen conclude that "herring eggs can cope at current temperature conditions with an increase in CO2," even one "exceeding future predictions of CO2-driven ocean acidification."
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