Robustness of Adamussium colbecki shell to ocean acidification in a short-term exposure

Ombretta Dell'Acqua*, Michal Trębala, Mariachiara Chiantore, Simo Pekka Hannula

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Atmospheric pCO2 has increased since the industrial revolution leading to a lowering of the ocean surface water pH, a phenomenon called ocean acidification (OA). OA is claimed to be a major threat for marine organisms and ecosystems and, particularly, for Polar regions. We explored the impact of OA on the shell mechanical properties of the Antarctic scallop Adamussium colbecki exposed for one month to acidified (pH 7.6) and natural conditions (unmanipulated littoral water), by performing Scanning Electron Microscopy, nanoindentation and Vickers indentation on the scallop shell. No effect of pH could be detected either in crystal deposition or in the mechanical properties. A. colbecki shell was found to be resistant to OA, which suggests this species to be able to face a climate change scenario that may threat the persistence of the endemic Antarctic species. Further investigation should be carried out in order to elucidate the destiny of this key species in light of global change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adamussium colbecki
  • Antarctica
  • Benthos
  • Nanoindentation
  • Ocean acidification
  • pH
  • SEM
  • Shell
  • Vickers


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