We describe a model predicting the effects of low environmental oxygen on vital rates (egg production, somatic growth, and mortality) of the coastal planktonic copepod Acartia tonsa. Hypoxic conditions can result in respiration rate being directly limited by oxygen availability. We hypothesized that A. tonsa egg production, somatic growth, and ingestion rates would all respond in a similar manner to low oxygen conditions, as a result of oxygen dependent changes in respiration rate. Rate data for A. tonsa egg production, somatic growth, and ingestion under low environmental oxygen were compiled from the literature and from supplementary experiments. The response of these rates to oxygen was compared by converting all to the analogous units in terms of oxygen utilization, which we termed analogous respiration rate. These analogous respiration rates, along with published measurements of respiration rates, were used to parameterize and evaluate the relationship between A. tonsa respiration rate and environmental oxygen. At 18°C, our results suggest that A. tonsa experiences sub-lethal effects of hypoxia below an oxygen partial pressure of 8.1 kPa (∼3.1 mg L-1 = 2.3 mL L-1). The results of this study can be used to predict the effects of hypoxia on A. tonsa growth and mortality as related to environmental temperature and oxygen partial pressure. Such predictions will be useful as a way to incorporate the effects of coastal hypoxia into population, community, or ecosystem level models that include A. tonsa. This approach can also be used to characterize the effects of hypoxia on other aquatic organisms. © 2013 Elliott et al.
Elliott, D. T., Pierson, J. J., & Roman, M. R. (2013). Predicting the Effects of Coastal Hypoxia on Vital Rates of the Planktonic Copepod Acartia tonsa Dana. PLoS ONE, 8(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0063987