Influence of sediment acidification and water flow on sediment acceptance and dispersal of juvenile soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria L.)


Although ocean acidification is expected to reduce carbonate saturation and yield negative impacts on open-ocean calcifying organisms in the near future, acidification in coastal ecosystems may already be affecting these organisms. Few studies have addressed the effects of sedimentary saturation state on benthic invertebrates. Here, we investigate whether sedimentary aragonite saturation (Omega aragonite) and proton concentration ([H+]) affect burrowing and dispersal rates of juvenile soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) in a laboratory flume experiment. Two size classes of juvenile clams (0.5-1.5 mm and 1.51-2.5 mm) were subjected to a range of sediment Omega aragonite and [H+] conditions within the range of typical estuarine sediments (Omega aragonite 0.21-1.87; pH 6.8-7.8; [H+] 1.58 × 10-8-1.51 × 10- 7) by the addition of varying amounts of CO2, while overlying water pH was kept constant ~ 7.8 (Omega aragonite ~ 1.97). There was a significant positive relationship between the percent of juvenile clams burrowed in still water and Omega aragonite and a significant negative relationship between burrowing and [H+]. Clams were subsequently exposed to one of two different flow conditions (flume; 11 cm/s and 23 cm/s) and there was a significant negative relationship between Omega aragonite and dispersal, regardless of clam size class and flow speed. No apparent relationship was evident between dispersal and [H+]. The results of this study suggest that sediment acidification may play an important role in soft-shell clam recruitment and dispersal. When assessing the impacts of open-ocean and coastal acidification on infaunal organisms, future studies should address the effects of sediment acidification to adequately understand how calcifying organisms may be affected by shifting pH conditions.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Lavigne et al, 2014) 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). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation is 2014-07-08.

Supplement to: Clements, Jeff C; Hunt, Heather L (2014): Influence of sediment acidification and water flow on sediment acceptance and dispersal of juvenile soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria L.). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 453, 62-69

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Metadata Access
Creator Clements, Jeff C ORCID logo; Hunt, Heather L ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2014
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 800 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-66.472 LON, 45.125 LAT)