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Ocean acidification reduces sperm flagellar motility in broadcast spawning reef invertebrates

  • Masaya Morita (a1), Ryota Suwa (a2), Akira Iguchi (a1), Masako Nakamura (a1), Kazuaki Shimada (a3), Kazuhiko Sakai (a1) and Atsushi Suzuki (a4)...


Ocean acidification is now recognized as a threat to marine ecosystems; however, the effect of ocean acidification on fertilization in marine organisms is still largely unknown. In this study, we focused on sperm flagellar motility in broadcast spawning reef invertebrates (a coral and a sea cucumber). Below pH 7.7, the pH predicted to occur within the next 100 years, sperm flagellar motility was seriously impaired in these organisms. Considering that sperm flagellar motility is indispensable for transporting the paternal haploid genome for fertilization, fertilization taking place in seawater may decline in the not too distant future. Urgent surveys are necessary for a better understanding of the physiological consequences of ocean acidification on sperm flagellar motility in a wide range of marine invertebrates.


Corresponding author

All correspondence to: Ryota Suwa. Sesoko Station, Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 905-0227, Japan. Tel: +81 980 47 3049. Fax: +81 980 47 4919. e-mail:


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Ocean acidification reduces sperm flagellar motility in broadcast spawning reef invertebrates

  • Masaya Morita (a1), Ryota Suwa (a2), Akira Iguchi (a1), Masako Nakamura (a1), Kazuaki Shimada (a3), Kazuhiko Sakai (a1) and Atsushi Suzuki (a4)...


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