Impact of elevated CO2 on shellfish calcification



[1] Ocean acidification resulting from human emissions of carbon dioxide has already lowered and will further lower surface ocean pH. The consequent decrease in calcium carbonate saturation potentially threatens calcareous marine organisms. Here, we demonstrate that the calcification rates of the edible mussel (Mytilus edulis) and Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) decline linearly with increasing pCO2. Mussel and oyster calcification may decrease by 25 and 10%, respectively, by the end of the century, following the IPCC IS92a scenario (∼740 ppmv in 2100). Moreover, mussels dissolve at pCO2 values exceeding a threshold value of ∼1800 ppmv. As these two species are important ecosystem engineers in coastal ecosystems and represent a large part of worldwide aquaculture production, the predicted decrease of calcification in response to ocean acidification will probably have an impact on coastal biodiversity and ecosystem functioning as well as potentially lead to significant economic loss.