Articles | Volume 18, issue 8
Biogeosciences, 18, 2573–2590, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-18-2573-2021
Biogeosciences, 18, 2573–2590, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-18-2573-2021

Research article 22 Apr 2021

Research article | 22 Apr 2021

Decoupling salinity and carbonate chemistry: low calcium ion concentration rather than salinity limits calcification in Baltic Sea mussels

Trystan Sanders et al.

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Allison, N., Cohen, I., Finch, A. A., Erez, J., Tudhope, A. W., and Edinburgh Ion Microprobe Facility: Corals concentrate dissolved inorganic carbon to facilitate calcification, Nat. Commun., 5, 5741, https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6741, 2014. 
Attard, K. M., Rodil, I. F., Berg, P., Mogg, A. O. M., Westerbom, M., Norkko, A., and Gludd, R. N.: Metabolism of a subtidal rocky mussel reef in a high-temperate setting: pathways of organic C flow, Mar. Ecol.-Prog. Ser., 645, 41–54, https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13372, 2020. 
Bach, L. T.: Reconsidering the role of carbonate ion concentration in calcification by marine organisms, Biogeosciences, 12, 4939–4951, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-4939-2015, 2015. 
Beldowski, J., Löffler, A., Schneider, B., and Joensuu, L.: Distribution and biogeochemical control of the total CO2 and total alkalinity in the Baltic Sea, J. Marine Syst., 81, 252–259, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2009.12.020, 2010. 
Cyronak, T., Schulz, K. G., and Jokiel, P. L.: The Omega myth: what really drives lower calcification rates in an acidifying ocean, ICES J. Mar. Sci., 73, 558–562, https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsv075, 2016. 
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Short summary
The Baltic Sea is expected to experience a rapid drop in salinity and increases in acidity and warming in the next century. Calcifying mussels dominate Baltic Sea seafloor ecosystems yet are sensitive to changes in seawater chemistry. We combine laboratory experiments and a field study and show that a lack of calcium causes extremely slow growth rates in mussels at low salinities. Subsequently, climate change in the Baltic may have drastic ramifications for Baltic seafloor ecosystems.
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