Molluscan ResearchISSN 1323-5818
 An international journal of the Malacological Society of Australasia and 
the Society for the Study of Molluscan Diversity published by Magnolia Press

0Home | About Molluscan Research | Online content | Editorial committee | Information for authors | How to order | Links0

Molluscan Research 30(3): 125-130; published 30 Nov. 2010
Copyright © The Malacological Society of Australasia & the Society for the Study of Molluscan Diversity

The effects of exposure to near-future levels of ocean acidification on shell characteristics of Pinctada fucata (Bivalvia: Pteriidae)

HEATHER M. WELLADSEN1, 2*, PAUL C. SOUTHGATE2 & KIRSTEN HEIMANN3

1AIMS@JCU and School of Marine & Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811. Australia.

2 Pearl Oyster Research Group, School of Marine & Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811. Australia.

3 NQAIF, School of Marine & Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811. Australia.

*Corresponding author: Email: heather.welladsen@jcu.edu.au

Abstract

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have greatly increased since the beginning of the industrial age. This has led to a decline in global ocean pH by 0.1 units, and continued decline of 0.30.5 units is predicted by the end of 2100. Acidification of the ocean has led to decreased calcification rates and dissolution of calcareous structures in a range of marine species. Shells of the pearl oyster Pinctada fucata exposed to acidified seawater (pH 7.8 and pH 7.6) for 28 days were 25.9% and 26.8% weaker than controls (pH 8.18.2), respectively, but there was no reduction in the organic content of shells exposed to acidified conditions. Scanning electron microscopy analysis of the growing edge of nacre lining the shells of P. fucata showed that shells exposed to acidified conditions (pH 7.6) showed signs of malformation and/or dissolution, when compared to controls. The reduction in shell strength and the possible nacre malformation could have broad impacts on the ecology of pearl oysters and consequences for the cultured pearl industry that relies on them.

Key words: Hypercapnia, tropical mollusc, shell strength, nacre deposition, climate change, pearl oyster

Full article (PDF; 580 KB) Order PDF

Related series by publisher
Zootaxa: Mollusca
Taxonomic papers and monographs on Mollusca from all over the world
Zoosymposia:
Collected papers on all branches of zoology; vol. 1 on Mollusca
 
Copyright © 2005-2010 Magnolia Press Published : 30 Nov. 2010