Seawater carbonate chemistry and processes during experiments with marine mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis, 2005, supplement to: Michaelidis, Basile; Ouzounis, Christos; Paleras, Andreas; Pörtner, Hans-Otto (2005): Effects of long-term moderate hypercapnia on acid–base balance and growth rate in marine mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 293, 109-118


In the context of future scenarios of progressive accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in marine surface waters, the present study addresses the effects of long-term hypercapnia on a Mediterranean bivalve, Mytilus galloprovincialis. Sea-water pH was lowered to a value of 7.3 by equilibration with elevated CO2 levels. This is close to the maximum pH drop expected in marine surface waters during atmosextracellular pHric CO2 accumulation. Intra- and extracellular acid-base parameters as well as changes in metabolic rate and growth were studied under both normocapnia and hypercapnia. Long-term hypercapnia caused a permanent reduction in haemolymph pH. To limit the degree of acidosis, mussels increased haemolymph bicarbonate levels, which are derived mainly from the dissolution of shell CaCO3. Intracellular pH in various tissues was at least partly compensated; no deviation from control values occurred during long-term measurements in whole soft-body tissues. The rate of oxygen consumption fell significantly, indicating a lower metabolic rate. In line with previous reports, a close correlation became evident between the reduction in extracellular pH and the reduction in metabolic rate of mussels during hypercapnia. Analysis of frequency histograms of growth rate revealed that hypercapnia caused a slowing of growth, possibly related to the reduction in metabolic rate and the dissolution of shell CaCO3 as a result of extracellular acidosis. In addition, increased nitrogen excretion by hypercapnic mussels indicates the net degradation of protein, thereby contributing to growth reduction. The results obtained in the present study strongly indicate that a reduction in sea-water pH to 7.3 may be fatal for the mussels. They also confirm previous observations that a reduction in sea-water pH below 7.5 is harmful for shelled molluscs.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Lavigne and Gattuso, 2011) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI).

Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Michaelidis, Basile; Ouzounis, Christos; Paleras, Andreas; Pörtner, Hans-Otto
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Nisumaa, Anne-Marin
Publication Year 2005
Funding Reference Seventh Framework Programme, 211384; Sixth Framework Programme, 511106
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 486 data points
Discipline Earth System Research