2010 Volume 5 Issue 3 Pages 119-122
Ephyrae of the scyphozoan jellyfish, Aurelia, were exposed to hypercapnic seawater (pCO2 5,000 to 50,000 μatm) for 96 h, to study the impacts of potential CO2 seepage from a geological storage site beneath the ocean floor. Geological CO2 storage has been proposed as a mitigation measure against global warming but ecological consequences in the case of seepage are largely unknown. No mortality occurred within the pCO2 range used in the present study. Swimming arm pulsation was significantly depressed in animals exposed to 5,000 μatm pCO2 compared to control animals, and immediately ceased in animals exposed to ≥30,000 μatm. When returned to normocapnic seawater (pCO2 380 μatm) after 96 h exposure to 50,000 μatm pCO2, some ephyrae showed strong arm inversion. These results indicate that even though Aurelia is able to survive short-term exposure to pCO2 of up to 50,000 μatm, the strong inhibition of swimming activities under these conditions would reduce the environmental fitness of affected animals.