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Garcia-Huidobro, M. R., Poupin, M. J., Urrutia, C., Rodriguez-Navarro, A. B., Grenier, C., Vivanco, J. F., et al. (2021). An intrapopulational study of organic compounds and biomechanical properties of the shell of the Antarctic bivalve Laternula elliptica (P. P. King, 1832) at King George Island. Polar Biol., 44, 1343–1352.
Abstract: Laternula elliptica is a key bivalve species and widely distributed around the Antarctic continent. This bivalve has been the study subject in several studies centered on ecological, physiological, biochemical, and behavioral patterns. However, little is known about the chemistry and the biomechanical properties of the shells of this mollusk. Here, we present the first report of the intra-population variability in the organic composition and mechanical properties of L. elliptica shells. Further, we analyze different morphological traits and their association with the metabolism of a population of L. elliptica from King George Island, Western Antarctic Peninsula. The summer metabolic rates and the hepatosomatic index values indicate good health conditions of this clam's population. Shell periostracum chemistry is quite similar to bivalves from temperate regions, but the relative amount of protein increased ca. five-fold in shells of L. elliptica. The microhardness is approximately 32% lower than in bivalves from temperate regions. Our characterization of the L. elliptica shells suggests that periostracum chemistry could be specially fitted to avoid shell carbon exposure to dissolution (e.g., in corrosive acidified seawater). In contrast, the reduction in shell hardness may result from prioritizing behavioral (burial) and shell repairing strategies to confront biological (predators) and physical disturbances (e.g., ice scouring). Similar studies in other Antarctic mollusks will help understand the role of shell structure and function in confronting projected climate changes in the Antarctic ocean.
Keywords: ALLOMETRIC SCALING LAWS; BRODERIP ANOMALODESMATA; SEASONAL ENERGETICS; OCEAN ACIDIFICATION; COLD ADAPTATION; MARINE MOLLUSKS; ORIGIN; MICROSTRUCTURE; METABOLISM; CAPACITY
Lagos, N. A., Benitez, S., Grenier, C., Rodriguez-Navarro, A. B., Garcia-Herrera, C., Abarca-Ortega, A., et al. (2021). Plasticity in organic composition maintains biomechanical performance in shells of juvenile scallops exposed to altered temperature and pH conditions. Sci. Rep., 11(1), 24201.
Abstract: The exposure to environmental variations in pH and temperature has proven impacts on benthic ectotherms calcifiers, as evidenced by tradeoffs between physiological processes. However, how these stressors affect structure and functionality of mollusk shells has received less attention. Episodic events of upwelling of deep cold and low pH waters are well documented in eastern boundary systems and may be stressful to mollusks, impairing both physiological and biomechanical performance. These events are projected to become more intense, and extensive in time with ongoing global warming. In this study, we evaluate the independent and interactive effects of temperature and pH on the biomineral and biomechanical properties of Argopecten purpuratus scallop shells. Total organic matter in the shell mineral increased under reduced pH (similar to 7.7) and control conditions (pH similar to 8.0). The periostracum layer coating the outer shell surface showed increased protein content under low pH conditions but decreasing sulfate and polysaccharides content. Reduced pH negatively impacts shell density and increases the disorder in the orientation of calcite crystals. At elevated temperatures (18 degrees C), shell microhardness increased. Other biomechanical properties were not affected by pH/temperature treatments. Thus, under a reduction of 0.3 pH units and low temperature, the response of A. purpuratus was a tradeoff among organic compounds (biopolymer plasticity), density, and crystal organization (mineral plasticity) to maintain shell biomechanical performance, while increased temperature ameliorated the impacts on shell hardness. Biopolymer plasticity was associated with ecophysiological performance, indicating that, under the influence of natural fluctuations in pH and temperature, energetic constraints might be critical in modulating the long-term sustainability of this compensatory mechanism.
Keywords: OCEAN ACIDIFICATION; ELEVATED-TEMPERATURE; COMPENSATORY MECHANISM; SEAWATER ACIDIFICATION; CLIMATE-CHANGE; IMPACTS; BIOMINERALIZATION; RESPONSES; MUSSELS; INTENSIFICATION