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Biology (Basel). 2013 Apr 2;2(2):651-92. doi: 10.3390/biology2020651.

Predicting the response of molluscs to the impact of ocean acidification.

Author information

1
School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury K12, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, Sydney, New South Wales 2751, Australia. l.parker@uws.edu.au.
2
School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury K12, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, Sydney, New South Wales 2751, Australia. pm.ross@uws.edu.au.
3
Industry and Investment NSW, Port Stephens Fisheries Centre, Taylors Beach, New South Wales 2316, Australia. connor@dpi.nsw.gov.au.
4
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Hermann von Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres e. V. (HGF), Am Handelshafen 12, Bremerhaven, 27570,Germany. Hans.Poertner@awi.de.
5
School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury K12, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, Sydney, New South Wales 2751, Australia. 16745966@student.uws.edu.au.
6
School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury K12, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, Sydney, New South Wales 2751, Australia. j.wright@uws.edu.au.

Abstract

Elevations in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are anticipated to acidify oceans because of fundamental changes in ocean chemistry created by CO2 absorption from the atmosphere. Over the next century, these elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are expected to result in a reduction of the surface ocean waters from 8.1 to 7.7 units as well as a reduction in carbonate ion (CO32-) concentration. The potential impact that this change in ocean chemistry will have on marine and estuarine organisms and ecosystems is a growing concern for scientists worldwide. While species-specific responses to ocean acidification are widespread across a number of marine taxa, molluscs are one animal phylum with many species which are particularly vulnerable across a number of life-history stages. Molluscs make up the second largest animal phylum on earth with 30,000 species and are a major producer of CaCO3. Molluscs also provide essential ecosystem services including habitat structure and food for benthic organisms (i.e., mussel and oyster beds), purification of water through filtration and are economically valuable. Even sub lethal impacts on molluscs due to climate changed oceans will have serious consequences for global protein sources and marine ecosystems.

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