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conch shells grown in lab

Risky shell game

Justin Ries, a former postdoctoral scholar at WHOI, and colleagues Anne Cohen and Dan McCorkle grew 18 species of shell-building marine organisms in tanks under air containing different concentrations of carbon dioxide—from the level in today's atmosphere, to higher levels predicted for the future, to extremely high levels. Not all species responded the same way to higher carbon dioxide levels in seawater and the higher aciditiy it generates. Some species, such as conchs (Strombus alatus), deteriorated, but surprisingly, some thrived. Learn more about the research in Oceanus magazine.

(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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