Movie: Malacology collections and climate change research

Museum collections hold a wealth of information that can be used to examine the effects of climate change. Dr Mandy Reid discusses how climate change impacts on marine molluscs may be revealed using museum collections.

Increasing global temperatures are likely to affect mollusc distributions, with ranges for colder-adapted species shifting southwards, or for terrestrial molluscs, lattitudinally. Range shifts can be determined based on historical known distributional ranges as determined from our collections. Another serious threat to marine molluscs is ocean acidification, which makes it harder for molluscs to form their calcium carbonate skeletons, resulting in reduced growth rates. Shelled molluscs are likely to become smaller at a given age or completely lose the ability to form exoskeletons. These changes are already evident for some mollusc groups in Australian Museum collections.


© Australian Museum
Maxine Kauter
Maxine Kauter
Mandy Reid
Maxine Kauter

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