Ocean acidification and adaptive bivalve farming

Multiple lines of evidence, ranging from time series field observations to climate change stimulation experiments demonstrate the negative effects of global warming and ocean acidification (OA) on bivalve molluscs. The impact of global warming on bivalve aquaculture has recently been reviewed. However, the impact of OA on bivalve aquaculture has received relatively less attention. Although there are many reports on the effects of OA on bivalves, this information is poorly organized and the connection between OA and bivalve aquaculture is unclear. Therefore, understanding the potential impact of acidification on ecosystems and bivalve aquaculture is of prime importance. Here, we provide a comprehensive scientific review of the impact of OA on bivalves and propose mitigation measures for future bivalve farming. This information will help to establish aquaculture and fisheries management plans to be implemented in commercial fisheries and nature conservation. In general, scientific evidence suggests that OA threatens bivalves by diminishing the availability of carbonate minerals, which may adversely affect the development of early life stages, calcification, growth, byssus attachment and survival of bivalves. The Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) approach is a useful method in slowing the effects of climate change, thereby providing longer adaptation period for bivalves to changing ocean conditions. However, for certain regions that experience intense OA effects or for certain bivalve species that have much longer generational time, IMTA alone may not be sufficient to protect bivalves from the adverse effects of climate change. Therefore, it is highly recommended to combine IMTA and genetic breeding methods to facilitate transgenerational acclimation or evolution processes to enhance the climate resilience of bivalves.

Tan K. & Zheng H., in press. Ocean acidification and adaptive bivalve farming. Science of The Total Environment. Article (subscription required).

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