Benthic calcification in the Dutch Coastal zone and effect on ocean acidification on the growth of commercially important bivalve species

In the frame of this study, it has been shown that benthic calcifiers (dominated by bivalves) have a very important contribution to the local carbonate cycle in the Dutch coastal zone, especially in areas used for aquaculture (e.g. the Oosterschelde estuary and the Wadden Sea). As a consequence of the incorporation of anthropogenic carbon dioxide by the ocean, it is expected that its pH will decrease by 0.3 to 0.4 unit by the end of the century. This acidification will most likely have consequences on marine calcifiers such as bivalves. In the present study, it has been shown that calcification rates of adults of the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) decline linearly with increasing pCO2 with a potential decrease of 25 and 10 % toward the end of the century. Moreover, this acidification will also affect the early life stages of these economically important species as it has been shown that the growth of mussel (Mytilus edulis) larvae is significantly affected by a decrease of pH to a level expected for the end of the century.

Gazeau F., Middelburg J. J., & Heip C. H., 2011. Benthic calcification in the Dutch Coastal zone and effect on ocean acidification on the growth of commercially important bivalve species. Aspects of coastal research in contribution to LOICZ in the Netherlands and Flanders (2002-2010). LOICZ Research and Studies 38:108-116. Article.


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