[Coral-List] Re Ocean Acidification and Shellfish Shells

booth booth at easternct.edu
Thu Dec 3 12:31:22 EST 2009

Gene Shinn wrote ( Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2009 11:13:19 ­0500):

Those into ocean acidification will appreciate this. And yes GEOLOGY
is a peer reviewed journal. Gene

I am amazed at the voluminous email responses to the ³Watts Up With That²
article by ³experts² on carbonate chemistry, the majority of whom, I
suspect, have never published papers on CO2 effects on marine organism and
have not even read the actual Geology article itself ­ these folks are
beside themselves with glee over this ³revelation² that CO2 might actually
be beneficial to shellfish. Perhaps it is, but I am aware of no evidence
that a bigger shell is necessarily beneficial for a mollusc or crustacean.
In crustaceans, at least, producing calcium carbonate shell requires an
input of energy to fuel ion transport ­ thus, a bigger shell could,
conceivably, represent an energy drain that might reduce the animal¹s
fitness.  I am inclined to think the jury is still out on this subject. The
Geology article and the response it has generated illustrate the danger of
thinking that a single peer-reviewed paper reporting something new is the
final word on a subject ­ it rarely is.

Chuck Booth

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