MOLLUSC STUDIES

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“SHELL WARM – Acidification effects on Mediterranean molluscs”
SHELL WARM project is funded by the National Geographic with an Early Career Grant and aims to investigate the effects of seawater acidification and global warming on growth and survival of marine molluscs. Among marine calcifying organisms, molluscs seem to be very vulnerable to changes in seawater chemistry with possible negative implications for the shell formation. SHELL WARM will be performed in a unique natural laboratory, the Mediterranean site of volcanic activity off Panarea Island, where water is naturally acidified permitting to observe now what could happen in the future Sea.

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The clams project
The clams project’s main goal is to study the effects of increasing temperature on biological, chemical and physical parameters of clam (Chamelea gallina) populations along a wide latitudinal gradient. Morphological characteristics of the valves are determined as well as the age of the sample through growth band count of TC scans (sclerochronology). The type and structure of the crystals of the valves is investigated by means of fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), x-ray powder diffraction analyses (XRD), thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) and crystallization experiments. Information on the skeletal density and porosity is determined through the buoyant weight technique.