Project title:

Bivalves: Archives of environmental Change in the coastal Marine Ecosystems

Type of project:

Research Project



Project duration:


Funding body:

Croatian science foundation (HRZZ)

Bivalves: Archives of environmental Change in the coastal Marine Ecosystems

The main objective of the BivACME study is to identify how ecosystem change affects growth dynamics of bivalves inhabiting coastal environments in the Adriatic Sea. This objective will be reached through realisation of specific objectives, which will enable sequential progress of the project.

Specific research objectives may be divided in two groups. The first group of objectives includes acquisition of sclerochronological data, including growth increment time series and shell geochemistry data, from targeted bivalve species. This includes (i) construction of growth chronologies for two commercially important clams (C. chione and V. verrucosa); (ii) analysis of temporal and spatial variations in growth dynamics of two commercially important scallops (P. jacobaeus and A. opercularis); (iii) analysis of spatial and temporal variations in growth of V. verrucosa using oxygen stable isotopes; (iv) estimating potential of P. nobilis and M. galloprovincialis as high resolution geochemistry archive of nitrogen changes in the coastal environment; and (v) application of element analysis (LA-ICP-MS approach) to target bivalve shells and estimation of their potential for reconstruction of environmental changes.

The second group of objectives encompasses (i) an upgrade of the the AdriSC modelling suite, including validation of climate simulations, extension to recent years and assessment of ocean processes that govern bivalve growth; (ii) quantification of ocean processes that govern bivalve growth and their spatial and temporal changes; (iii) correlation of bivalve growth and environmental conditions and variability; (iv) assessing quality of the reproduced environmental parameters determined by stable isotope analyses and elemental records in shells; (v) combining chronologies of a single species and multi-species chronologies in assessing spatial and temporal outreach of environmental drivers and ocean processes that are correlated to bivalve growth; and (vi) forecast potential impact of climate change to the bivalve growth, through an assessment of climate projection scenarios and assuming present-day correlations between bivalves and environmental changes.