Understanding patterns of bivalve vulnerability and resilience to ocean acidification: Insights from field studies, tank experiments and novel physiological studies

Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, are causing an unprecedented rate of global warming. Carbon dioxide emissions are additionally causing ocean acidification; a process that decreases the pH and carbonate saturation state of seawater. Ocean acidification is particularly stressful for marine calcifiers; organisms that build calcium carbonate shells or skeletons. Marine bivalves build calcium carbonate shells that they use as a support for their growing tissues, and as protection from predation. Bivalves are osmoconformers, and have limited mobility, meaning that they are particularly susceptible to the impacts of thermal stress. Bivalve fisheries generate billions of dollars to the US economy in annual revenue, therefore understanding their response to these two global change stressors is crucial for helping the communities that rely on these fisheries plan for global change. The following studies explore the response of commercially important bivalve species to ocean acidification and warming.

Cameron L. P., 2020. Understanding patterns of bivalve vulnerability and resilience to ocean acidification: Insights from field studies, tank experiments and novel physiological studies. PhD thesis, Northeastern University, 24 p. Thesis.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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