flexing mussels: does mytilus edulis have the capacity to overcome effects of ocean acidification?

Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) live across a wide geographic range in a variety of habitats and are a commercially important species, used in aquaculture across New England. This project examines  mussels throughout their lives, across multiple generations, to assess their ability to adapt and determine if mussels from certain areas of Long Island Sound are better able to cope with varying acidification conditions. This information can then be used to help shellfish growers determine where to collect mussels to spawn for seed, and ultimately improve stocks of mussels for aquaculture.

The blue mussel is one of the most extensively studied marine organisms and a model for physiology, but growth has yet to be examined to get a sense of longer term response to ocean acidification. In this study, the time of development, lipid accumulation, shell shape and shell microstructure will be examined in mussels throughout their lifespan and also in the following generations. This will allow for a better understanding of what drives the ability of certain mussels to survive and adapt in these changing acidification conditions. This information can then be used by those in the aquaculture industry to adapt to a changing ocean.


Lead Investigator(s):  Dianna Padilla

Co-Investigators: Lisa Milke and Shannon Meseck

Email: Dianna.Padilla@sunysb.edu 

This project is supported in partnership by NOAA Ocean Acidification and the Northeast Sea Grant Programs