The aim of this study was to test the effects of short- and long-term exposure to high pCO 2 on the invasive polychaete Branchiomma boholense (Grube, 1878), (Sabellidae), through the implementation of a transplant experiment at the CO 2 vents of the Castello Aragonese at the island of Ischia (Italy). Analysis of carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity, protein tissue content and morphometric characteristics were performed on transplanted individuals (short-term exposure) as well as on specimens resident to both normal and low pH/high pCO 2 environments (long-term exposure). Results obtained on transplanted worms showed no significant differences in CA activity between individuals exposed to control and acidified conditions, while a decrease in weight was observed under short-term acclimatization to both control and low pH, although at low pH the decrease was more pronounced (∼20%). As regard individuals living under chronic exposure to high pCO 2 , the morphometric results revealed a significantly lower (70%) wet weight of specimens from the vents with respect to animals living in high pH/low pCO 2 areas. Moreover, individuals living in the Castello vents showed doubled values of enzymatic activity and a significantly higher (50%) protein tissue content compared to specimens native from normal pH/low pCO 2 . The results of this study demonstrated that B. boholense is inclined to maintain a great homeostatic capacity when exposed to low pH, although likely at the energetic expense of other physiological processes such as growth, especially under chronic exposure to high pCO 2 .
Del Pasqua, Michela;Caricato, Roberto;Lionetto, Maria Giulia
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