A comparison of shells assessed during the research, with the top shell taken from waters with present-day CO22 levels and the bottom one from waters with future predicted levels. Image: Ben Harvey/University of Tsukuba
Dissolving snails due to acidification of seawater - life science news

Biologists have found that increased CO2 levels in seawater harms the shell of the snail Charonia lampas, or triton shell. The research was conducted off the coast of Shikinejima in Japan, where CO2 bubbles up from the seabed. This allowed the scientists to assess the effects of future high CO2 levels. The snails living in this CO2-rich area were one third smaller than the snails living in other parts of the ocean nearby, where CO2 levels are still normal. Further, high CO2 levels negatively influenced thickness, density, and structure of the shells. These effects are caused by increased stress imposed by acidification of the water, which reduces the snails’ ability to control the calcification process. The researchers conclude that increased acidification of the oceans will impact on shellfish fisheries and marine ecosystems.

Read the full story: University of Plymouth
Scientific publication: Frontiers in Marine Science