Evaluation of the threat of marine CO2 leakage-associated acidification on the toxicity of sediment metals to juvenile bivalves

The effects of the acidification associated with CO2 leakage from sub-seabed geological storage was studied by the evaluation of the short-term effects of CO2-induced acidification on juveniles of the bivalve Ruditapes philippinarum. Laboratory scale experiments were performed using a CO2-bubbling system designed to conduct ecotoxicological assays. The organisms were exposed for 10 days to elutriates of sediments collected in different littoral areas that were subjected to various pH treatments (pH 7.1; pH 6.6; pH 6.1). The acute pH-associated effects on the bivalves were observed, and the dissolved metals in the elutriates were measured. The median toxic effect pH was calculated, which ranged from 6.33 and 6.45. The amount of dissolved Zn in the sediment elutriates increased in parallel with the pH reductions and was correlated with the proton concentrations. The pH, the pCO2 and the dissolved metal concentrations (Zn and Fe) were linked with the mortality of the exposed bivalves.

Basallote M. D., Rodriguez-Romero A., De Orte M. R., Del Valls T.A. & Riba I., in press. Evaluation of the threat of marine CO2 leakage-associated acidification on the toxicity of sediment metals to juvenile bivalves. Aquatic Toxicology. Article (subscription required).


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