Effects of ocean acidification on larval development and early post-hatching traits in Concholepas concholepas (loco)

Patricio H. Manríquez, María Elisa Jara, Rodrigo Torres, María Loreto Mardones, Nelson A. Lagos, Marco A. Lardies, Cristian A. Vargas, Cristian Duarte, Jorge M. Navarro

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13 Scopus citations


Larval stages represent a bottleneck influencing the persistence of marine populations with complex life cycles. Concholepas concholepas is a gastropod species that sustains the most important small-scale artisanal fisheries of the Chile-Peru Humboldt Coastal current system. In this study, newly-laid egg capsules of C. concholepas collected from 3 localities along the Chilean coast were used to evaluate the potential consequences of projected near-future ocean acidification (OA) on larval development and early post-hatching larval traits. We compared hatching time, hatching success and early survivorship of encapsulated larvae reared under contrasting average levels of pCO2: 382 (present-day), ca. 715 and ca. 1028 μatm CO2 (levels expected in near-future scenarios of OA). Moreover, we compared morphological larval traits such as protoconch size, thickness and statolith size at hatching. Some of the developmental traits were negatively affected by pCO2 levels, source locality, female identity, or the interaction between those factors. Meanwhile, the effect of pCO2 levels on morphological larval traits showed significant interactions depending on differences among egg capsules and females. Our results suggest that OA may decouple hatching time from oceanographic processes associated with larval transport and reduce larval survivorship during the dispersive phase, with a potential impact on the species' population dynamics. However, the results also show geographic variability and developmental plasticity in the investigated traits. This variation may lead to an increased acclimatization ability, facilitate the persistence of natural populations and mitigate the negative effects that OA might have on landings and revenues derived from the fishery of this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-103
Number of pages17
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
StatePublished - 2014


  • Developmental plasticity
  • Early larval survival
  • Egg capsule wall thickness
  • Hatching success
  • Hatching time
  • Protoconch size
  • Protoconch thickness
  • Statolith size


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