A comparison of life-history traits in calcifying Spirorbinae polychaetes living along natural pH gradients

Noelle M. Lucey, Chiara Lombardi, Maurizio Florio, Simon D. Rundle, Piero Calosi, Maria Cristina Gambi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Low-pH vent systems are ideal natural laboratories to study the consequences of long-term low-pH exposure on marine species and thus identify life-history traits associated with low-pH tolerance. This knowledge can help to inform predictions on which types of species may be less vulnerable in future ocean acidification (OA) scenarios. Accordingly, we investigated how traits of calcifying polychaete species (Serpulidae, Spirorbinae) varied with pH using a functional trait analysis at 2 natural pH gradients around the Castello Aragonese islet off Ischia, Italy. We first observed the distribution and abundance patterns of all calcifying polychaete epiphytes in the canopy of Posidonia oceanica seagrass across these gradients. We then used laboratory trials to compare fecundity, settlement success, and juvenile survival in the dominant species from a control (Pileolaria militaris Claparède, 1870) and a low-pH site (Simplaria sp.). We found significantly higher reproductive output, juvenile settlement rates, and juvenile survival in Simplaria sp. individuals from the low-pH site, compared to P. militaris individuals from control pH sites, when observed in their respective in situ pH conditions. Our results suggest that tolerance to low pH may result, in part, from traits associated with successful reproduction and rapid settlement under low-pH conditions. This finding implies that other species with similar life-history traits may respond similarly, and should be targeted for future OA tolerance research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141 - 152
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Ecology - Progress Series
Volume589
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

life history trait
Polychaeta
life history
tolerance
polychaete
seagrass
fecundity
Pileolaria
comparison
canopy
Rasa Aragonesa
epiphytes
prediction
reproductive performance
Italy
ocean acidification
laboratory

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

Cite this

Lucey, Noelle M. ; Lombardi, Chiara ; Florio, Maurizio ; Rundle, Simon D. ; Calosi, Piero ; Gambi, Maria Cristina. / A comparison of life-history traits in calcifying Spirorbinae polychaetes living along natural pH gradients. In: Marine Ecology - Progress Series. 2018 ; Vol. 589. pp. 141 - 152.
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A comparison of life-history traits in calcifying Spirorbinae polychaetes living along natural pH gradients. / Lucey, Noelle M.; Lombardi, Chiara; Florio, Maurizio; Rundle, Simon D.; Calosi, Piero; Gambi, Maria Cristina.

In: Marine Ecology - Progress Series, Vol. 589, 23.02.2018, p. 141 - 152.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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