Shellfish response to ocean acidification depends on other stressors

Determining the exact effects of ocean acidification on shellfish has proven difficult, however. Though plummeting pH levels have been blamed for shellfish die-offs, the correlations have appeared inconsistent.

New research suggests the response of shellfish to ocean acidification is dependent on a number of other environmental stressors.

In a study of California mussels, researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz determined that food availability — or scarcity — had a significant effect on mussels’ vulnerability to ocean acidification. Food availability, the scientists noted, is highly dependent on geography and affected by a complex amalgam of environmental and ecological factors.

Read more