CO2 may reduce mussel, oyster populations

A Dutch-led study suggests the Earth`s increasing carbon dioxide levels might result in significant losses of the world`s mussels and oysters.The researchers say recent experiments show the calcification rates of two types of mollusks kept in closed laboratory environments declined linearly with increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the air.

Frederic Gazeau at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and French colleagues studied calcification rates of edible mussels and Japanese oysters. They determined mussel and oyster calcification might decrease by 25 percent and 10 percent, in that order, by the end of the century.

Since the species represent a large part of worldwide aquaculture production, the scientists say the resulting population decrease will potentially influence coastal biodiversity and ecosystem function, as well as lead to significant economic loss.

The study appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Press release.

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