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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00975

Cuttlefish early development and behavior under future high CO2 conditions

 Erica Moura1, Marta Pimentel1,  Catarina Santos1, Eduardo Sampaio1, Maria Pegado1, Vanessa Lopes1 and  Rui Rosa1*
  • 1University of Lisbon, Portugal

The uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the global ocean is increasing and changing the seawater chemistry, a phenomenon known as ocean acidification (OA). Besides the expected physiological impairments, there is increasing evidence of detrimental OA effects on the behavioral ecology of certain marine taxa, including cephalopods. Within this context, the main goal of this study was to investigate OA effects (~ 1000 μatm; ΔpH = 0.4) in the development and behavioral ecology (namely shelter-seeking, hunting and response to a visual alarm cue) of the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) early-life stages, throughout the entire embryogenesis until 20 days after hatching. There was no evidence that OA conditions compromised the cuttlefish embryogenesis – namely development time, hatching success, survival rate and biometric data (length, weight and Fulton’s condition index) of newly-hatched cuttlefish were similar between the normocapnic and hypercapnic treatments. The present findings also suggest a certain behavioral resilience of the cuttlefish hatchlings towards near-future OA conditions. Shelter-seeking, hunting and response to a visual alarm cue did not show significant differences between treatments. Thus, we argue that cuttlefishes’ nekton-benthic (and active) lifestyle, their adaptability to highly-dynamic coastal and estuarine zones, and the already harsh conditions (hypoxia and hypercapnia) inside their eggs provide a degree of phenotypic plasticity that may favor the odds of the recruits to endure the future acidified ocean. Yet, the interacting effects of multiple stressors should be further addressed, to accurately predict the resilience of this ecologically and economically important species in the oceans of tomorrow.

Keywords: ocean acidification, cuttlefish, Embryogenesis, behaviour, early life stages

Received: 29 Apr 2019; Accepted: 11 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Fernando A. Genta, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Brazil

Reviewed by:

Erik Caroselli, University of Bologna, Italy
Scott Doney, University of Virginia, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Moura, Pimentel, Santos, Sampaio, Pegado, Lopes and Rosa. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Rui Rosa, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, 1649-004, Lisboa, Portugal,