Effects of ocean acidification on juvenile clams Ruditapes decussatus

We report the preliminary findings of a 3 month-long experiment aimed at investigating the effects of elevated pCO and reduced pH on the juvenile stages of the clam Ruditapes decussatus. The concentration of CO2 in seawater was manipulated by diffusing pure CO , to attain two reduced pH treatments (-0.4 and -0.7 pH units), which were compared to seawater with natural pH levels. We found no differences among treatments in the size or weight of the clams. The natural pH treatment showed significantly larger mortality than the acidified treatments. The peak of mortality coincided with the occurrence of sporadic spawning events, which were not observed in the most extreme acidification treatment. This suggests that the increased survival under acidified conditions may be associated with a delay in the reproductive cycle of the clams.

Range, P., Chícharo, L., Chícharo, M. A., Ben-hamadou , R., Piló , D., Matias, D., Joaquim, S. & Oliveira, A. P., 2010. Effects of ocean acidification on juvenile clams Ruditapes decussates. CIESM Congress Proceedings 39:789. Web site.

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