The Effect of Simulated Marine Heatwaves on Green-Lipped Mussels, Perna canaliculus: A Near-Natural Experimental Approach

Venter, L
Alfaro, AC
Ragg, NLC
Delorme, NJ
Ericson, JA
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Journal Article
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Elsevier BV

Marine heatwaves (MHW) are projected for the foreseeable future, affecting aquaculture species, such as the New Zealand green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus). Thermal stress alters mussel physiology highlighting the adaptive capacity that allows survival in the face of heatwaves. Within this study, adult mussels were subjected to three different seawater temperature regimes: 1) low (sustained 18 °C), 2) medium MHW (18–24 °C, using a +1 °C per week ramp) and 3) high MHW (18–24 °C, using a +2 °C per week ramp). Sampling was performed over 11 weeks to establish the effects of temperature on P. canaliculus survival, condition, specific immune response parameters, and the haemolymph metabolome. A transient 25.5–26.5 °C exposure resulted in 61 % mortality, with surviving animals showing a metabolic adjustment within aerobic energy production, enabling the activation of molecular defence mechanisms. Utilisation of immune functions were seen within the cytology results where temperature stress affected the percentage of superoxide-positive haemocytes and haemocyte counts. From the metabolomics results an increase in antioxidant metabolites were seen in the high MHW survivors, possibly to counteract molecular damage. In the high MHW exposure group, mussels utilised anaerobic metabolism in conjunction with aerobic metabolism to produce energy, to uphold biological functions and survival. The effect of exposure time was mainly seen on very long-, and long chain fatty acids, with increases observed at weeks seven and eight. These changes were likely due to the membrane storage functions of fatty acids, with decreases at week eleven attributed to energy metabolism functions. This study supports the use of integrated analytical tools to investigate the response of marine organisms to heatwaves. Indeed, specific metabolic pathways and cellular markers are now highlighted for future investigations aimed at targeted measures. This research contributes to a larger program aimed to identify resilient mussel traits and support aquaculture management.

Aquaculture , Cytology , Marine heatwave , Metabolomics , Perna canaliculus , Temperature , 3109 Zoology , 31 Biological Sciences , 14 Life Below Water , 06 Biological Sciences , Physiology , 3109 Zoology
Journal of Thermal Biology, ISSN: 0306-4565 (Print); 1879-0992 (Online), Elsevier BV, 117, 103702-. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2023.103702
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