Impacts of Rising Atmospheric CO2 on the Serpent Starfish
Wood, H.L., Spicer, J.I., Lowe, D.M. and Widdicombe, S. 2010. Interaction of ocean acidification and temperature; the high cost of survival in the brittlestar Ophiura ophiura. Marine Biology 157: 2001-2013.
Results of the experiment revealed the following: (1) survival was "100% at both temperatures and across all pH treatments," (2) metabolic rate increased as pH decreased in the low temperature treatment, while there was no significant difference across the different pH treatments in the high temperature regime, (3) muscle appearance and density did not change over either the temperature or pH treatment ranges in established or regenerated arms, (4) a faster response time in movement (motility) was observed at low temperature and low pH, (5) brittlestars across "all treatments had the same net calcification throughout the experiment," (6) arm regeneration rate within the low temperature treatment was "unaffected by the length of arm lost and the rate was similar between all pH treatments," (7) arm regeneration rate was significantly faster at higher temperatures than lower temperatures.
In light of the above findings, it would appear that the serpent starfish should be able to successfully cope with the physiological changes brought about by any modest temperature increase and/or pH decline likely to occur in the future.