Smaller herring larval size-at-stage in response to environmental changes is associated with ontogenic processes and stress response

Type Article
Date 2023-01
Language English
Author(s) Joly Lea1, 2, 3, Boersma MaartenORCID2, 4, Giraldo CarolinaORCID1, Mazurais DavidORCID5, Madec LaurianeORCID5, Collet Sophie5, Zambonino-Infante Jose-LuisORCID5, Meunier Cédric LORCID2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer English Channel and North Sea Research Unit, , 150 Quai Gambetta, 62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
2 : Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland Shelf Sea System Ecology, , Am Binnenhafen 1117, 27483 Helgoland, Germany
3 : GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Marine Ecology, , Düsternbrooker Weg 20, D-24105 Kiel, Germany
4 : University of Bremen FB2, , Leobener Str, 28359 Bremen, Germany
5 : Ifremer, Univ Brest, CNRS, IRD, LEMAR Physiology of Marine Organisms, , ZI de la Pointe au Diable, 29280 Plouzané, France
Source Conservation Physiology (2051-1434) (Oxford University Press (OUP)), 2023-01 , Vol. 11 , N. 1 , P. coad072 (15p.)
DOI 10.1093/conphys/coad072
Keyword(s) Fish larvae, gene expression, global change

Global change puts coastal systems under pressure, affecting the ecology and physiology of marine organisms. In particular, fish larvae are sensitive to environmental conditions, and their fitness is an important determinant of fish stock recruitment and fluctuations. To assess the combined effects of warming, acidification and change in food quality, herring larvae were reared in a control scenario (11°C*pH 8.0) and a scenario predicted for 2100 (14°C*pH 7.6) crossed with two feeding treatments (enriched in phosphorus and docosahexaenoic acid or not). The experiment lasted from hatching to the beginning of the post-flexion stage (i.e. all fins present) corresponding to 47 days post-hatch (dph) at 14°C and 60 dph at 11°C. Length and stage development were monitored throughout the experiment and the expression of genes involved in growth, metabolic pathways and stress responses were analysed for stage 3 larvae (flexion of the notochord). Although the growth rate was unaffected by acidification and temperature changes, the development was accelerated in the 2100 scenario, where larvae reached the last developmental stage at a smaller size (−8%). We observed no mortality related to treatments and no effect of food quality on the development of herring larvae. However, gene expression analyses revealed that heat shock transcripts expression was higher in the warmer and more acidic treatment. Our findings suggest that the predicted warming and acidification environment are stressful for herring larvae, inducing a decrease in size-at-stage at a precise period of ontogeny. This could either negatively affect survival and recruitment via the extension of the predation window or positively increase the survival by reducing the larval stage duration.

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Joly Lea, Boersma Maarten, Giraldo Carolina, Mazurais David, Madec Lauriane, Collet Sophie, Zambonino-Infante Jose-Luis, Meunier Cédric L (2023). Smaller herring larval size-at-stage in response to environmental changes is associated with ontogenic processes and stress response. Conservation Physiology, 11(1), coad072 (15p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :