Oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide results in a decrease in seawater pH, a process known as “ocean acidification”. The pearl oyster Pinctada fucata, the noble scallop Chlamys nobilis, and the green-lipped mussel Perna viridis are species of economic and ecological importance along the southern coast of China. We evaluated the effects of seawater acidification on clearance, respiration, and excretion rates in these three species. The ammals were reared in seawater at pH 8.1 (control), 7.7, or 7.4. The clearance rate was highest at pH 7.7 for P. fucata and at pH 8.1 for C. nobilis and P. viridis. The pH had little effect on the respiration rate of P. fucata and P. viridis. In contrast, the respiration rate was significantly lower at pH 7.4 in C. nobilis. The excretion rate was significantly lower at pH 7.4 than pH 8.1 for all species. The results indicate that the reduction in seawater pH likely affected the metabolic process (food intake, oxygen consumption, and ammonia excretion) of these bivalves. Different species respond differently to seawater acidification. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the exact mechamsms for this effect and evaluate adaptability of these bivalves to future acidified oceans.
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