Conditions of Mytilus edulis extracellular body fluids and shell composition in a pH-treatment experiment: Acid-base status, trace elements and δ11B



[1] Mytilus edulis were cultured for 3 months under six different seawater pCO2 levels ranging from 380 to 4000 μatm. Specimen were taken from Kiel Fjord (Western Baltic Sea, Germany) which is a habitat with high and variable seawater pCO2 and related shifts in carbonate system speciation (e.g., low pH and low CaCO3 saturation state). Hemolymph (HL) and extrapallial fluid (EPF) samples were analyzed for pH and total dissolved inorganic carbon (CT) to calculate pCO2 and [HCO3]. A second experiment was conducted for 2 months with three different pCO2 levels (380, 1400 and 4000 μatm). Boron isotopes (δ11B) were investigated by LA-MC-ICP-MS (Laser Ablation–Multicollector–Inductively Coupled Plasma–Mass Spectrometry) in shell portions precipitated during experimental treatment time. Additionally, elemental ratios (B/Ca, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca) in the EPF of specimen from the second experiment were measured via ICP-OES (Inductively Coupled Plasma–Optical Emission Spectrometry). Extracellular pH was not significantly different in HL and EPF but systematically lower than ambient water pH. This is due to high extracellular pCO2 values, a prerequisite for metabolic CO2 excretion. No accumulation of extracellular [HCO3] was measured. Elemental ratios (B/Ca, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca) in the EPF increased slightly with pH which is in accordance with increasing growth and calcification rates at higher seawater pH values. Boron isotope ratios were highly variable between different individuals but also within single shells. This corresponds to a high individual variability in fluid B/Ca ratios and may be due to high boron concentrations in the organic parts of the shell. The mean δ11B value shows no trend with pH but appears to represent internal pH (EPF) rather than ambient water pH.