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Tremblay 2019 Abstract IOC141

From Bioblast
Tremblay N, Leiva L, Haafke J, Meunier CL, Boersma M (2019) Effects of low-frequency noise and temperature on copepod performance. Mitochondr Physiol Network 24.02.

Link: IOC141

Tremblay N, Leiva L, Haafke J, Meunier CL, Boersma M (2019)

Event: IOC141

Offshore wind farms (OWF) are often touted for their “green energy” etiquette and their artificial reef-like structures that promote secondary production by benthic invertebrates. As the number of OWF are bound to increase as a mitigation strategy to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, it is crucial to address all of their potential impacts on key ecosystem components in detail. Especially, the chronic effect of noise created during OWF turbine operations (duration 20-25 years) must be understood. In cephalopods exposed to low-frequency exposures, complete mitochondria in cells adjacent to sensory organs were degenerated [1]. This is one of the reasons why the mitochondria are in the spotlight. Life-history theory predicts adaptive shifts in response to stress, namely earlier reproduction, smaller age/size at maturity, and higher relative investment into reproduction. Such shifts should bring about reduced life expectancy. The overall project aims to assess the trade-off for key crustacean species between the effect of a long-term exposure to OWF operational noise on performance (physiological and ecological) and the protection offered by those artificial refuges. Many anti-ageing mechanisms have been identified in crustaceans, but the effect of environmental stressors on premature senescence remains unclear in those organisms [2].

Here, we carried out experiments with one model key organisms, the pelagic copepod Acartia tonsa. Because of copepod’s feeding modes, which relies on setal receptors that sense the vibration and velocity of the particles they feed on, the effect of low-frequency noise generated by OWF turbines could potentially altered their capacity in gathering the energy required to fulfil all their biological functions. The copepod species is commonly used as a proxy for a range of fundamental processes that relate to marine planktonic crustaceans. Given that higher temperatures increase metabolic demands, the experiment was conducted at three different temperature levels (18, 21, 24°C) combined with silent and noise treatments. So far, we assessed the combined effects on energetic balance and oxidative stress indicators. First results from our work indicate no changes in feeding and respiration rates when copepods were exposed to low-frequency noise coupled with higher temperatures. However, an important decrease in the antioxidant system defenses was observed, except the activity of the glutathione S-transferase. The latter enzyme is involved in detoxification processes, which means that animals were not healthy. By measuring mitochondrial capacity and the production of hydrogen peroxide under noise exposure, it will be possible to assess if noises are potentially disruptors of the general mitochondrial dynamic and functioning, which would ensue suboptimal biological processes, and jeopardize the population sustainability.

Bioblast editor: Plangger M

Labels: MiParea: Respiration, Comparative MiP;environmental MiP 

Organism: Crustaceans 

Regulation: Temperature 

HRR: Oxygraph-2k 


Alfred Wegener Inst, Helmholtz Centre Polar Marine Research, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Shelf Seas Systems Ecology, Helgoland, Germany. - [email protected]


  1. André M, Solé M, Lenoir M, Durfort M, Quero C, Mas A, Lombarte A, van der Schaar M, López-Bejar M, Morell M, Zaugg S, Houégnigan L (2011) Low‐frequency sounds induce acoustic trauma in cephalopods. Front Ecol Environ 9:489-93.
  2. Vogt G (2012) Ageing and longevity in the Decapoda (Crustacea): A review. Zool Anz 251:1-25.