How Southern Ocean Echinoderm Larvae Respond to Elevated CO2
Yu, P.C., Sewell, M.A., Matson, P.G., Rivest, E.B., Kapsenberg, L. and Hofmann, G.E. 2013. Growth attenuation with developmental schedule progression in embryos and early larvae of Sterechinus neumayeri raised under elevated CO2. PLOS ONE 8: e52448.
The six scientists report that over the course of development from egg to late four-arm pluteus, they found that "(1) early embryological development was normal with the exception of the hatching process, which was slightly delayed, (2) the onset of calcification as determined by the appearance of CaCO3 spicule nuclei was on schedule, (3) the lengths of the spicule elements, and the elongation of the spicule nuclei into the larval skeleton, were significantly shorter in the highest CO2 treatment four days after the initial appearance of the spicule nuclei, and (4) finally, without evidence of true developmental delay, larvae were smaller overall under high CO2 treatments; and arm length, the most plastic morphological aspect of the echinopluteus, exhibited the greatest response to high CO2/low pH/low carbonate conditions."
After all was said and done, Yu et al. concluded, in the final sentence of their paper's abstract, that "effects of elevated CO2 representative of near future climate scenarios are proportionally minor on these early development stages."