Will jumping snails prevail? Influence of near-future CO2, temperature and hypoxia on respiratory performance in the tropical conch Gibberulus gibberulus gibbosus

  • Lefevre S
  • Watson S
  • Munday P
  • et al.
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Abstract

© 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.Tropical coral reef organisms are predicted to be especially sensitive to ocean warming because many already live close to their upper thermal limit, and the expected rise in ocean CO2 is proposed to further reduce thermal tolerance. Little, however, is known about the thermal sensitivity of a diverse and abundant group of reef animals, the gastropods. The humpbacked conch (Gibberulus gibberulus gibbosus), inhabiting subtidal zones of the Great Barrier Reef, was chosen as a model because vigorous jumping, causing increased oxygen uptake ( MO2), can be induced by exposure to odour from a predatory cone snail (Conus marmoreus). We investigated the effect of present-day ambient (417-454 μatm) and projected-future (955-987 μatm) PCO2 on resting ( MO2,rest) and maximum ( MO2,max) MO2, as well as MO2 during hypoxia and critical oxygen tension (PO2,crit), in snails kept at present-day ambient (28°C) or projectedfuture temperature (33°C). MO2,rest and MO2,max were measured both at the acclimation temperature and during an acute 5°C increase. Jumping caused a 4- to 6-fold increase in MO2, and MO2,max increased with temperature so that absolute aerobic scope was maintained even at 38°C, although factorial scope was reduced. The humpbacked conch has a high hypoxia tolerance with a PO2,crit of 2.5 kPa at 28°C and 3.5 kPa at 33°C. There was no effect of elevated CO2 on respiratory performance at any temperature. Long-term temperature records and our field measurements suggest that habitat temperature rarely exceeds 32.6°C during the summer, indicating that these snails have aerobic capacity in excess of current and future needs.

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Lefevre, S., Watson, S.-A., Munday, P. L., & Nilsson, G. E. (2015). Will jumping snails prevail? Influence of near-future CO2, temperature and hypoxia on respiratory performance in the tropical conch Gibberulus gibberulus gibbosus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 218(19), 2991–3001. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.120717

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