Acid seas makes the shells of mussels weaker

A study titled: Shell mineralogy of a foundational marine species, Mytilus californianus, over half a century in a changing ocean, researched the effect, over a long period of time, of the gradual acidification of the oceans on the strength and construction (general make up) of the shells of mussels. They studied “the shell mineralogy of a foundation species under 60 years of ocean warming and acidification”. That species is: Mytilus californianus (California mussels). They documented a “substantial increase in shell calcite and decreasing aragonite.”

California mussels
California mussels. Photo: Wikipedia Commons.

They concluded, in the study’s abstract that, “These results indicate that ocean pH and saturation state, not temperature or salinity, play a strong role in mediating [meaning having an effect on] the shell mineralogy of the species and reveal long-term changes in this trait under ocean acidification”.

To try and put it into layperson’s terms, it seems that the acidification of the oceans is weakening the shells of marine wildlife such as molluscs. They compared the shell construction of these marine animals today to those of the 1950s.

Elizabeth Bullard, the lead researcher and author of the study, of California University San Diego, said: “It’s a big issue for marine organisms.”

What causes ocean acidification? It is mainly caused by carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere dissolving in the oceans which leads to a lowering of the water’s pH making it more acidic. The conclusion is that climate change due to human activity and unsustainable consumption is damaging marine wildlife in many ways including the weakening of the shells of molluscs and other similar species. Acidification is killing coral reefs.


Seal pup on a beach where they should be left alone

Woman picks up baby seal on beach and it dies of shock

NEWS AND OPINION: Against the advice of an expert, a woman picked up a baby seal on a beach near ...

Let’s remember Lolita, the orca held in captivity for 50 years who died just before her release

I would like to remember Lolita, the orca held in captivity for 50 years. She was due to be released ...
Emperor penguins are disappearing with the Antartica ice

Ice is disappearing from Antarctica and so are the emperor penguins

Emperor penguins need ice on which to live. Emperor penguin colonies live on ice. They lay their eggs on ice ...

Biggest hunt for Loch Ness monster in 50 years

The Times announced today that the Loch Ness Centre is to begin the biggest hunt for the monster within Britain's ...

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.