Instant Ocean Versus Natural Seawater: Impacts on Aspects of Reproduction and Development in Three Marine Invertebrates

Jan A Pechenik, Morgan Levy, Jonathan D Allen
Biological Bulletin 2019, 237 (1): 16-25
Marine invertebrate larvae have often been reared in artificial rather than natural seawater, either for convenience or to avoid potentially confounding effects of unknown contaminants. This study sought to determine the impact of artificial seawater on various aspects of development for three marine invertebrate species. We examined the impact of Instant Ocean on growth, survival, and fecundity of the deposit-feeding polychaete Capitella teleta at 2 salinities: 24 and 34 ppt; the impact on survival, growth rate, and time to metamorphic competence for the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata ; and the impact on larval growth for the sea star Asterias forbesi . Juveniles of C. teleta survived better in natural seawater than in Instant Ocean at both salinities but at the higher salinity grew more quickly in Instant Ocean; fecundity was not significantly affected by the type of seawater used at either salinity. Using Instant Ocean in place of natural seawater had no pronounced impact on the survival of C. fornicata larvae or on how long it took them to become competent to metamorphose; however, larvae grew somewhat more quickly in Instant Ocean than in natural seawater for the first 4 days of development, but by day 7 they were about 4.5% larger if they had been reared in seawater. The type of seawater used affected the growth of A. forbesi larvae, with larvae growing significantly more slowly in Instant Ocean than in natural seawater, no matter how growth was measured. In conclusion, our results suggest that although Instant Ocean may be a reasonable substitute for natural seawater for work with some species, using it may affect experimental outcomes in some aspects of work with other species.


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