Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Although a good number of studies have investigated the impact of larval experience on aspects of post-metamorphic performance, only a few have considered the potential impact of stresses experienced by brooded embryos. In this study we separately investigated the impact of salinity stress (as low as 10) and hypoxia (1 ml O2 1 sub-1) experienced by brooded embryos of the deposit-feeding polychaete Capitella teleta on hatching success, metamorphosis, post-metamorphic survival, and post-metamorphic growth. Salinity reduction from 30 to 10 or 15 reduced relative hatching success, presumably by reducing embryonic survival, but generally had no negative latent effects on juvenile survival or growth. Prolonged exposure to hypoxic conditions had no negative effects, as seen on measurements recorded, other than abandonment of brood tubes by some females. There were no negative effects on days to emergence from brood tubes, numbers of larvae emerging from brood tubes, juvenile survival, or juvenile growth. Future studies should consider the potential role of maternal behavior in protecting embryos from at least short-term exposures to hypoxia, and the capacity for anaerobic metabolism in both embryos and adults of this species.
Pechenik, JA; Chaparro, OR; Pilnick, A; Karp, M; Acquafredda, M; and Burns, R, Effects of Embryonic Exposure to Salinity Stress or Hypoxia on Post-metamorphic Growth and Survival of the Polychaete Capitella teleta (2016). Biological Bulletin, 231(2), 103-112.