Meta-Analysis of Ocean Acidification Experiments on the Early Life-Stages of Marine Fishes

Tuesday, August 19, 2014: 1:50 PM
200B (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
R. Christopher Chambers , NOAA/NMFS/NEFSC Howard Laboratory, Highlands, NJ
Alexander Jensen , Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Derrick Alcott , Biology Department, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
The effects of CO2-induced ocean acidification (OA) on marine fish early life-stages (ELS) have received increased attention because the ELS are ecologically important and least likely to be resilient to changing ocean chemistry.  A small but growing number of studies have experimentally examined these effects.  Using a subset of these studies which met acceptance criteria (15 publications, 60 experiments), we assessed patterns that could be extracted from the resulting set of taxa, experimental protocols, and response variables.  Four primary ELS responses were evaluated:  survival, length, mass, and otolith area of larvae.  We examined broad responses to OA, then tested four hypotheses of no differences in OA-related outcomes due to:  H1: phylogeny (orders); H2: latitudinally defined biomes (temperate vs. tropical); H3: egg habitats (demersal vs. pelagic); and H4: duration of CO2-exposure (embryonic and larval stages vs. the larvae stage).  The overall meta-analysis showed survival to decrease and otolith area to increase with OA.  Survival also varied between 1) taxa, 2) egg habitats, and 3) duration of experimental exposure.  The increased otolith area at higher CO2 levels occurred across multiple taxa.  Biases in these data reflect a limited taxonomic diversity of study subjects to date.  Suggestions for OA reporting will be summarized.