Oysters may struggle to build shells as carbon dioxide rises

Ocean acidification could hamper larvae's growth

By Erin Wayman, 16:26 PM June 17, 2013

The changing chemistry of ocean waters may cause baby oysters to have trouble mustering the energy to build their shells, new research suggests.

Oysters, clams, mussels and other bivalves build calcium carbonate shells using mostly raw materials from seawater. A two-day-old oyster larva is already 90 percent calcium carbonate by body weight, ecologist George Waldbusser of Oregon State University in Corvallis and colleagues report May 29 in Geophysical Research Letters.

During their shell-buildi...

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