Increased Relative Calcification, Shell Dissolution and Maintained Larval Growth in Mussel (Mytilus edulis) Larvae Exposed to Acidified Under-Saturated Seawater
Our results confirmed that increasing seawater acidity and decreasing saturation state increases larval mortality rate and the percentage of abnormally developing larvae. No larvae reared at pHT ≈ 7.1 were able to reach the D-shell veliger stage and their development appeared to be arrested at the trochophore stage. However – despite morphological shell abnormalities - larvae were capable of reaching the D-shell stage when reared at pHT ≈ 7.35 and normally D-shaped larvae were observed in all the remaining treatments (pH ≈ 7.6, 7.85 and 8.1) including in under-saturated seawater with Ωa as low as 0.75 ± 0.03 (mean ± SE). Growth rate of these larvae was not affected by lower pHT despite potential increased energy costs associated with compensatory calcification in response to increased shell dissolution. Overall, our results suggest a shift in energy allocation toward growth in larvae exposed to ocean acidification.