Responses of Freshwater Calcifiers to Carbon-Dioxide-Induced Acidification
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Responses of Freshwater Calcifiers to Carbon-Dioxide-Induced Acidification

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
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  • Description:
    Increased anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere can enter surface waters and depress pH. In marine systems, this phenomenon, termed ocean acidification (OA), can modify a variety of physiological, ecological, and chemical processes. Shell-forming organisms are particularly sensitive to this chemical shift, though responses vary amongst taxa. Although analogous chemical changes occur in freshwater systems via absorption of CO2 into lakes, rivers, and streams, effects on freshwater calcifiers have received far less attention, despite the ecological importance of these organisms to freshwater systems. We exposed four common and widespread species of freshwater calcifiers to a range of pCO2 conditions to determine how CO2-induced reductions in freshwater pH impact calcium carbonate shell formation. We incubated the signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus, the Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea, the montane pea clam, Pisidium sp., and the eastern pearlshell mussel, Margaritifera margaritifera, under low pCO2 conditions (pCO2 = 616 ± 151 µatm; pH = 7.91 ± 0.11), under moderately elevated pCO2 conditions (pCO2 = 1026 ± 239 uatm; pH = 7.67 ± 0.10), and under extremely elevated pCO2 conditions (pCO2 = 2380 ± 693 uatm; pH = 7.32 ± 0.12). Three of these species exhibited a negative linear response to increasing pCO2 (decreasing pH), while the fourth, the pea clam, exhibited a parabolic response. Additional experiments revealed that feeding rates of the crayfish decreased under the highest pCO2 treatment, potentially contributing to or driving the negative calcification response of the crayfish to elevated pCO2 by depriving them of energy needed for biocalcification. These results highlight the potential for freshwater taxa to be deleteriously impacted by increased atmospheric pCO2, the variable nature of these responses, and the need for further study of this process in freshwater systems.
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    Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 10(8), 1068
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    2077-1312
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    CC BY
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    Submitted
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