Increase Ocean Acidification and The Inertidal Shore Crab, Pachygrapsus crassipes

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Francisco, Rick Justin
Animal Studies; Marine Biology
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Marine organisms can be affected by increased ocean acidification resulting from the increased carbon dioxide levels within the atmosphere. Specifically, invertebrates with exoskeletons incorporating calcium carbonate appear to be at higher risk of negative effects. Our experiment examines the potential threat of increased acidity in the Pacific Ocean on the carapace width and weight of Pachygrapsus crassipes, an intertidal shore crab species. The specimens were observed for six weeks experimental duration with recirculating chilled seawater at a temperature of 12.7o C, the control aquaria was maintained at 8.1 while the experimental aquaria was adjusted to 7.5. The crabs were weighed and measured every two weeks, resulting in a decrease in weight with a consistent carapace width change for the control crabs, and a wider variation in weight with a consistent carapace width change, as well, for the experimental crabs. The overall data shows that the calcification that is vital for these crabs’ strong exoskeletons are being affected by the decrease of pH in their habitat.Keywords: ocean acidification, pH, crabs, exoskeleton, crustaceans, calcification, Pachygrapsus crassipes