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Ocean acidification and hypoxia are concurrent in some coastal waters due to anthropogenic activities in the past decades. In the natural environment, pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) may fluctuate and follow diel-cycling patterns, but such effects on marine animals have not been comprehensively studied compared to their constant effects. In order to study the effects of diel-cycling seawater acidification and hypoxia on the fitness of marine bivalves, the thick shell mussels Mytilus coruscus were exposed to two constant levels of dissolved oxygen (2 mg/L, 8 mg/L) under two pH treatments (7.3, 8.1), as well as single diel fluctuating pH or DO, and the combined diel fluctuating of pH and DO for three weeks. The experimental results showed that constant acidification and hypoxia significantly reduced the extracellular pH (pH) and condition index (CI) of mussels, and significantly increased HCO, pCO and standard metabolic rate (SMR). Diel fluctuating hypoxia and acidification also significantly reduced the pH and CI, and significantly increased pCO and SMR, but had no significant effects on HCO. However, the diel-cycling acidification and hypoxia resulted in a higher CI compared to continuous exposure. In general, continuous and intermittent stress negatively impact the hemolymph and growth performance of mussels. However, mussels possess a little stronger resistance to diel-cycling seawater acidification and hypoxia than sustained stress.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
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