Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
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Temperature and CO2 additively regulate physiology, morphology and genomic responses of larval sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

Jacqueline L. Padilla-Gamiño

Jacqueline L. Padilla-Gamiño

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA

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Morgan W. Kelly

Morgan W. Kelly

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA

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Tyler G. Evans

Tyler G. Evans

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA

Department of Biological Sciences, California State University East Bay, Hayward, CA 94542, USA

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Gretchen E. Hofmann

Gretchen E. Hofmann

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA

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    Ocean warming and ocean acidification, both consequences of anthropogenic production of CO2, will combine to influence the physiological performance of many species in the marine environment. In this study, we used an integrative approach to forecast the impact of future ocean conditions on larval purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) from the northeast Pacific Ocean. In laboratory experiments that simulated ocean warming and ocean acidification, we examined larval development, skeletal growth, metabolism and patterns of gene expression using an orthogonal comparison of two temperature (13°C and 18°C) and pCO2 (400 and 1100 μatm) conditions. Simultaneous exposure to increased temperature and pCO2 significantly reduced larval metabolism and triggered a widespread downregulation of histone encoding genes. pCO2 but not temperature impaired skeletal growth and reduced the expression of a major spicule matrix protein, suggesting that skeletal growth will not be further inhibited by ocean warming. Importantly, shifts in skeletal growth were not associated with developmental delay. Collectively, our results indicate that global change variables will have additive effects that exceed thresholds for optimized physiological performance in this keystone marine species.

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