Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Physiol. 2009 Apr 21;9:9. doi: 10.1186/1472-6793-9-9.

Physiological responses of Daphnia pulex to acid stress.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Zoophysiology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany. akweber@gmx.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acidity exerts a determining influence on the composition and diversity of freshwater faunas. While the physiological implications of freshwater acidification have been intensively studied in teleost fish and crayfish, much less is known about the acid-stress physiology of ecologically important groups such as cladoceran zooplankton. This study analyzed the extracellular acid-base state and CO2 partial pressure (P(CO2)), circulation and ventilation, as well as the respiration rate of Daphnia pulex acclimated to acidic (pH 5.5 and 6.0) and circumneutral (pH 7.8) conditions.

RESULTS:

D. pulex had a remarkably high extracellular pH of 8.33 and extracellular P(CO2) of 0.56 kPa under normal ambient conditions (pH 7.8 and normocapnia). The hemolymph had a high bicarbonate concentration of 20.9 mM and a total buffer value of 51.5 meq L(-1) pH(-1). Bicarbonate covered 93% of the total buffer value. Acidic conditions induced a slight acidosis (DeltapH = 0.16-0.23), a 30-65% bicarbonate loss, and elevated systemic activities (tachycardia, hyperventilation, hypermetabolism). pH 6.0 animals partly compensated the bicarbonate loss by increasing the non-bicarbonate buffer value from 2.0 to 5.1 meq L(-1) pH(-1). The extracellular P(CO2) of pH 5.5 animals was significantly reduced to 0.33 kPa, and these animals showed the highest tolerance to a short-term exposure to severe acid stress.

CONCLUSION:

Chronic exposure to acidic conditions had a pervasive impact on Daphnia's physiology including acid-base balance, extracellular PCO2, circulation and ventilation, and energy metabolism. Compensatory changes in extracellular non-bicarbonate buffering capacity and the improved tolerance to severe acid stress indicated the activation of defense mechanisms which may result from gene-expression mediated adjustments in hemolymph buffer proteins and in epithelial properties. Mechanistic analyses of the interdependence between extracellular acid-base balance and CO2 transport raised the question of whether a carbonic anhydrase (CA) is involved in the catalysis of the CO2-HCO3(-)-H(+) reaction, which led to the discovery of 31 CA-genes in the genome of D. pulex.

PMID:
19383148
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2689847
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk