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Likely Effects of Ocean Acidification on Undulated Surf Clams

Paper Reviewed
Guo, X., Xu, X., Zhang, P., Huang, M., Luo, X., You, W. and Ke, C. 2016. Early development of undulated surf clam, Paphia undulate under elevated pCO2. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 484: 23-30.

Introducing their study, Guo et al. (2016) write that "increasing atmospheric CO2 can decrease the seawater pH and carbonate ions, which may adversely affect the larval survival of calcareous animals." And in their study of this intriguing subject, they go on to describe how they explored the consequences of simulating possible future atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 800, 1500, 2000 and 3000 µatm in the laboratory by examining the effects of this set of CO2 concentrations on the embryonic and larval stages of the infaunal clam Paphia undulate.

This effort revealed, as Guo et al. report, that in the realm of negative findings, a "significant decrease of hatching of P. undulate was observed when the pCO2 reached 3000 µatm," and that "larval deformation rate increased significantly when pCO2 reached 2000 µatm."

In the realm of positive findings, on the other hand, the seven researchers report that "larvae cultured in 1500 µatm pCO2 exhibited the fastest growth, highest survival and shortened planktonic period," which "unordinary phenomenon," as they refer to it, reflected "the beneficial effect of ocean acidification on P. undulate larval development," which also led them to conclude that "better development of P. undulate larvae under a higher CO2 condition may be an adaptation in response to the acidified sediment in which they [the surf clams] live."

Posted 20 February 2017