Temperature and pCO2: single and combined effects of climate change parameters on the acid-base regulation of Louisiana red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)
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With the global focus on ocean acidification very few studies have investigated the effect of climate change on freshwater species. The impact of individual and combined stress of elevated temperature and pCO2 that mimic predicted levels for the year 2100 in P. clarkii were investigated. Measurements of hemolymph parameters, metabolic rate and differential expression of acid-base regulatory genes in the gills were conducted. Crayfish showed a decrease in hemolymph pH following 14-day acclimation to elevated temperature. Following elevated environmental pCO2 reduced metabolic rate was observed with a successful compensatory response to the acid-base challenge. Combined temperature and pCO2 treatments showed decreased metabolic rate, decreased hemolymph ammonia and elevated hemolymph bicarbonate and pCO2. The results of this study suggest that dual environmental stressors, such as temperature and pCO2, have interactive effects, potentially causing different physiological responses than single stressors. This study highlights the importance of multi-stressor studies to avoid potentially masking the true effect of climate change and impacting management decisions.