Effects of ocean acidification and warming on physiological and behavioural responses of an herbivore snail to waterborne predator cues

S. Benítez, N. A. Lagos, C. Duarte, M. José Cid, J. M. Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ocean Acidification (OA) and Ocean Warming (OW) represent major climate stressors that may disrupt species interactions. However, despite the knowledge about the impacts of OA and OW on the performance of individual species, it is still unclear how biological interactions can be modified by the combined effects of these stressors. Consequently, in this study, we assess the effects of changes in temperature (12 °C and 20 °C) and pCO2 (500 and 1600 μatm) levels in seawater, along with the presence/absence of waterborne cues from the predator crab Homalaspis plana on the physiological and behavioural performance of the snail Tegula atra. Snail consumption rate was positively affected by OW and negatively by predator cues whereas absorption efficiency (AE) was positively affected by OW without interactions among these stressors. Oxygen uptake of snails reared in OW conditions was greater than those in control conditions, but only at control pCO2 levels. When pCO2 level was also raised, the positive effect of warmer temperature on oxygen uptake was reduced. While biomass was negatively affected by OW, OA and predator cues, without interactions. In the presence of predator cues the self-righting times of snails were significantly slower in individuals reared at OW conditions. Additionally, OA and OW conditions do not affect the prey hunting, efficiency (consumption) and preference, and claw strength of the predatory crab. These results indicate that OA and OW affect physiological and behavioral traits of snails but no the predatory behavior of crab. This environmentally-induced decoupling of co-evolutionary predator-prey dynamics may have important consequences on the structure and stability of coastal communities and ecosystems under the influence of climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122798
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Climate change stressors
  • Non-consumptive effects
  • Predation-prey interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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