Mediterranean tropical sea and the disappearance of mussels. Here’s what happens

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Mediterranean Tropical Sea - 1
Due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea, some tropical species find fertile climate to survive even in the Mare Nostrum. Such as Chromodoris Quadricolor (above) native to the Red Sea, which via the Suez Canal is now a stable presence in the Mediterranean as well.

The Mediterranean is becoming tropicalized, and mussels are also at risk of extinction. The culprit? Climate change. The source of these alarms about the health status of the Mare Nostrum is the authoritative “Nature magazine,” which published two news stories with endorsements from major scientific studies.

The tropical Mediterranean

“If it cannot be controlled, climate warming would promote tropicalization and the invasion of the Mediterranean Sea by tropical species from the Atlantic Ocean by the end of the century. Almost half of the species that inhabit the Mediterranean Sea are found nowhere else in the world, but the basin is warming rapidly, putting this unique biodiversity at risk.”

This is the verdict of The Nature Review endorsed by the results of the recent survey The dawn of the tropical Atlantic invasion into the Mediterranean Sea.”

The main entry of tropical species is through the Suez Canal from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.

Researchers note that several tropical species such as the Sea Hare (Bursatella leachii) and the nudibranch Chromodoris quadricolor are already permanently established in the Mediterranean, as well as dangerous alien fish as we told you about here and here.

Researcher Paolo G. Albano raises the alarm: “The change we are facing is dramatic and irreversible and will bring the biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea to a state that humanity has never seen.”

Will we still eat mussels?

The second alarm issued by “Nature magazine” is equally disturbing. “Human-caused environmental changes are threatening the ability of mussels and other shellfish to form their shells, and we need to better understand what risks will result from this in the future,” says the researcher Leanne Melbourne who, along with Nathalie Goodkin of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, curated the study.

Mediterranean Tropical

They found that, in the Compare modern specimens and historical specimens also from the same sites, showed that recently collected shells are more porous than both those collected in the 1960s and those collected at some sites in the early 1900s, leading to the hypothesis that increased temperature has led to increased porosity.

The porosity of the specimens is vital, as the structural integrity of the mollusks depends on it, making them weaker and potentially more susceptible to damage. If weaker shells are formed, they will break more easily and we may lose these crucial organisms.

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