West Coast
While ocean acidification hasn’t made a measurable change in the Dungness population, the latest findings to appear to point out a vulnerability. (Dan Honda, Bay Area News Group)

CA - Crabs show indication they may be vulnerable to effects of ocean acidification

Species show indication they may be vulnerable to effects of ocean acidification

Ocean acidification along the Pacific coast is slowly corroding the shells of young Dungeness crabs floating in the plankton just offshore. Their persistence in the face of ongoing climate change, in which the ocean will continue to acidify, could determine the future of one of the state’s most lucrative fisheries.

A recent study by Dr. Nina Bednaršek, a senior scientist with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, examined the shells of larval Dungeness crabs no bigger than a dime and found evidence of pitting and scarring on crabs collected in areas with more acidic water. The results, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, suggest that ocean acidification is already impacting wildlife.

“It seems like it’s a very easy-to-trigger response, and the first line of evidence that they respond to these negative conditions,” Bednaršek said.

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