Shell mineralogy of a foundational marine species, Mytilus californianus, over half a century in a changing ocean

Anthropogenic warming and ocean acidification are predicted to negatively affect marine calcifiers. While negative effects of these stressors on physiology and shell calcification have been documented in many species, their effects on shell mineralogical composition remains poorly known, especially over longer time periods. Here, we quantify changes in the shell mineralogy of a foundation species, Mytilus californianus, under 60 y of ocean warming and acidification. Using historical data as a baseline and a resampling of present-day populations, we document a substantial increase in shell calcite and decrease in aragonite. These results indicate that ocean pH and saturation state, not temperature or salinity, play a strong role in mediating the shell mineralogy of this species and reveal long-term changes in this trait under ocean acidification.

Bullard E. M., Torres I., Ren T., Graeve O. A. & Roy K., 2021. Shell mineralogy of a foundational marine species, Mytilus californianus, over half a century in a changing ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118(3): e2004769118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2004769118. Article (subscription required).


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