In the summer of 2015 we will study growth and metamorphosis of the gastropod, Crepidula fornicata, in the context of ocean acidification. This project is a collaboration with Jan Pechenik (Tufts University), and is supported by NSF. I performed some small-scale pilot experiments for this project in the OA lab in 2014. In this first season of the grant our priority will be to determine how acidification and nutrition interact to influence larval growth and metamorphosis, and whether these factors have latent effects on postmetamorphic juvenile performance. Time permitting, we will also study acidification effects on swimming and settlement behaviors and their neural correlates, and on juvenile feeding rates. C. fornicata is an ideal animal for this research. Much baseline information is already known about its development and life history. The veligers are large, easily cultured, and amenable to ecologically-relevant behavioral and neurophysiological experiments. Furthermore, C. fornicata is native to the eastern U.S. but has become established in Washington, and is of great interest as an invasive species in changing ecosystems.
Selected publications 2013
Penniman, J.R., M.K. Doll and A. Pires (2013). Neural correlates of settlement in veliger larvae of the gastropod, Crepidula fornicata. Invertebr. Biol. 132: 14-26.2012
Biggers, W.J., A. Pires, J.A. Pechenik, E. Johns, P. Patel, T. Polson and J. Polson (2012). Inhibitors of nitric oxide synthase induce larval settlement and metamorphosis of the polychaete annelid Capitella teleta. Invertebr. Reprod. Dev. 56: 1-13.2014
Pires, A. (2014). Artificial seawater culture of the gastropod Crepidula fornicata for studies of larval settlement and metamorphosis. In: Developmental Biology of the Sea Urchin and other Marine Invertebrate Model Systems. Stricker, S., and D. Carroll, eds. Methods in Molecular Biology 1128: 35-44.