Marine environmental research

Season-dependent effects of elevated temperature on stress biomarkers, energy metabolism and gamete development in mussels.

PMID 25460056


In coastal areas, sessile species can be severely affected by thermal stress associated to climate change. Presently, the effect of elevated temperature on metabolic, cellular and tissue-level responses of mussels was determined to assess whether the responses vary seasonally with seawater temperature and reproductive stage. Mussels were collected in fall, winter and summer, and (a) maintained at 16, 12, and 20xa0°C respectively or (b) subject to gradual temperature elevation for 8 days (+1xa0°C per day; from 16 to 24xa0°C in fall, from 12 to 20xa0°C in winter and from 20 to 28xa0°C in summer) and further maintained at 24xa0°C (fall), 20xa0°C (winter) and 28xa0°C (summer) for the following 6 days. Temperature elevation induced membrane destabilization, lysosomal enlargement, and reduced the aerobic scope in fall and summer whereas in winter no significant changes were found. Changes at tissue-level were only evident at 28xa0°C. Gamete development was impaired irrespective of season. Since the threshold of negative effects of warming was close to ambient temperatures in summer (24xa0°C or above) studied mussel populations would be vulnerable to the global climate change.

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