Ocean Acidification Causing Some Shells to Grow Thicker : TreeHugger

I worry more and more about the future of a sustainable ocean.  Its hard to think that these issues are a surprise to the general public.  The world is changing and we need to wake up to its needs.

by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California on 12. 2.09



Photo via WHOI

We’re familiar with the problem of ocean acidification causing crustaceans shells to dissolve. The problem has been seen among species such as oysters, clams and mussels. However a new study shows that in several other species such as crabs, shrimp and lobsters, increased acidity can spur a thickening of shells. But having thicker shells doesn't signal that the animals are in a safer position.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists have studied the effects of exposure to ocean acidification on 18 crustacean species, and they’ve found that for seven of those species, exposure causes the animals to grow thicker shells, as reported by TGDaily.

Lead scientist Justin B Ries notes, “Most likely the organisms that responded positively were somehow able to manipulate…dissolved inorganic carbon in the fluid from which they precipitated their skeleton in a way that was beneficial to them,” said Ries, now an assistant professor in marine sciences at the University of North Carolina. “They were somehow able to manipulate CO2…to build their skeletons.”

via Ocean Acidification Causing Some Shells to Grow Thicker : TreeHugger.

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