OCEAN ACIDIFICATION AFFECTS THE NERVOUS SYSTEM IN MARINE ORGANISMS--THE CASE OF A LUMINOUS INVERTEBRATE (E)
Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is causing a slow decline in ocean’s pH (“ocean acidification” or “OA”). While the focus of OA research has been on calcified-body parts of organisms, little has been investigated about effects on the nervous system. This study used a small cosmopolitan brittlestar, Amphipholis squamata as a functional model for investigating effects of OA on the nervous system. Indeed, the species is capable of light production under nervous control, change of which thus being a sign of neuro-physiological impairment. We used a six-week pH treatment (pH levels: 8.02, 7.70, 7.40±.02) along which capacity of individuals to produce bioluminescence was characterized (1) under spontaneous conditions, and when stimulated (2) with acetylcholine neuro-mediator (ACh), and (3) potassium chloride (KCl) for assessment of chemical potential to produce light. Overall, our results show that spontaneous light was inhibited while ACh-stimulated light was amplified; KCl-stimulated light remained similar showing the same chemical ability. In Amphipholis squamata, the light production is regulated by the neuro-receptor GABA. This receptor has recently been proposed to be altered by OA conditions in rockfish, causing anxiety. Our study thus aligns well with previous observations on other organisms and represents the first direct demonstration of effects of OA on the nervous system. Effects were significant for all pH changes (.3 and .6 both different than ambient) after just four days, thus making OA a serious neuro-physiological threat.
Clare, X. S., University of California, Santa Cruz, USA, email@example.com
Deheyn, D. D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall
Presentation is given by student: Yes