Evaluation of the synergistic effects of climate change on estuarine ecosystems at temperate and tropical latitudes using Littorinids (Mollusca: Gastropoda) as indicators / Avaliação dos efeitos sinérgicos de mudanças climáticas em ecossistemas estuarinos de latitudes temperadas e tropicais utilizando Littorinídeos (Mollusca: Gastropoda) como indicadores

Rafaela Camargo Maia, Jesus Souza Troncoso


Climate change has been considered as the most serious threat to biodiversity, and therefore, it has been receiving increasing attention regarding its potential impacts on the coastal zone. According to IPCC forecasts, increase in CO2, sea and air temperature, sea level rise, and ocean acidification are expected. Thus, this study evaluated the synergistic effect of future climate changes in Littorinids from temperate and tropical estuarine environments through experimental studies. Mortality, changes in size, weight loss, and specie’s behaviors of the species Littorina fabalis and Littorina littorea in Spain and Littoraria angulifera and Litteraria flava in Brazil were evaluated in the laboratory considering estuarine acidification, temperature increase, and salinity variations due to sea level rise and/or rainfall reduction. The data presented indicate that estuarine Littorinids will respond to climate change as (i) with increased mortality rates, weight loss, and changes in behavior as a function of increased temperatures, and, (ii) with decreased shell sizes resulting from the dissolution of the shell apex due to estuarine acidification. These results suggest changes in these estuarine ecosystems resulting in effects that lead to serious endangerment to animal biodiversity and ecological balance.


Oceanic acidification, Littoraria, Littorina, salinity, sea level, temperature.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.34188/bjaerv5n2-017


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