Marine Science Prac Report

Effects of ocean acidification on gastropods and shellfish


To observe the affects of an egg in three different solutions, all with different pH levels. These solutions are distilled water, vinegar and half distilled and vinegar.


It is believed that the egg in the vinegar will turn rubbery and be able to bounce. The egg in the distilled water will not have any change; and a slight change will happen with the egg in the half distilled water and half vinegar solution, this will slightly turn rubbery also.


Results table 1:

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Results table 2:

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Results table 3

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Results table 4

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1. How will ocean acidificaton affect marine life?

Marine life, like Corals, Phytoplankton, muscles, snails, sea urchins and other marine organisms which use calcium (Ca) and Carbonate (CO3) in sea water. This Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) is mainly what these marine life's shells are made up of. If the pH levels decrease Carbonate becomes less available, which makes it harder for these marine organisms to secrete CaCO3 to form their skeletal material.

This is what happened in the experiment. As the pH levels decreased, there was a change in the shells of the eggs. The shells started to dissolve, and turn rubbery. If this were to happen to these marine organisms, their shells would start to dissolve. The same thing would happen to their shells as to what happened with the eggs.

2. What species are currenlty being affected the most by changing pH levels?

Marine organisms, like corals, muscles and others with shells with CaCO3 would be affected the most by changing pH levels, because their shells would be disolving.

3. What is causing ocean acidification?

The ocean absorbs 1/3 of the CO2 emitted into the atmopsphere, from burning fossil fuels. By burning fossil fuels, the acidification of the ocean changes.


Through conducting this experiment, it was learnt that the shell of an egg could dissolve in solution like vinegar, with a lower pH level; as said in the background information.

As discussed in the questions the change in pH levels in the world's oceans could have a dramatic effect on animals with Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) as their shells. Their shells would start to bubble up and dissolve making the shell rubbery. This would mean that some animals wouldn't be able to survive on these conditions because their characteristics aren't suited for different conditions like these. If this change in with the pH levels changing in the world's oceans, soon these animals, like muscles with Calcium Carbonate as their shells would start to decrease.

From: Hazel Altundal & Chloe Walton (yr 10)