Will jumping snails prevail? Influence of near-future CO2, temperature and hypoxia on respiratory performance in the tropical conch Gibberulus gibberulus gibbosus

Tropical coral reef organisms are predicted to be especially sensitive to ocean warming because many already live close to their upper thermal limit, and the expected rise in ocean CO2 is proposed to further reduce thermal tolerance. Little, however, is known about the thermal sensitivity of a diverse and abundant group of reef animals, the gastropods. The humpbacked conch (Gibberulus gibberulus gibbosus), inhabiting subtidal zones of the Great Barrier Reef, was chosen as a model because vigorous jumping, causing increased oxygen uptake (MO2), can be induced by exposure to odour from a predatory cone snail (Conus marmoreus). We investigated the effect of present-day ambient (417-454?µatm) and projected-future (955-987?µatm) PCO2 on resting (MO2,rest) and maximum (MO2,max) MO2, as well as MO2 during hypoxia and critical oxygen tension (PO2,crit), in snails kept at present-day ambient (28°C) or projected-future temperature (33°C). MO2,rest and MO2,max were measured both at the acclimation temperature and during an acute 5°C increase. Jumping caused a 4- to 6-fold increase in MO2, and MO2,max increased with temperature so that absolute aerobic scope was maintained even at 38°C, although factorial scope was reduced. The humpbacked conch has a high hypoxia tolerance with a PO2,crit of 2.5?kPa at 28°C and 3.5?kPa at 33°C. There was no effect of elevated CO2 on respiratory performance at any temperature. Long-term temperature records and our field measurements suggest that habitat temperature rarely exceeds 32.6°C during the summer, indicating that these snails have aerobic capacity in excess of current and future needs. In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2016) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation is 2016-11-29.