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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2016, Article ID 7183813, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/7183813
Review Article

Biomonitoring Climate Change and Pollution in Marine Ecosystems: A Review on Aulacomya ater

1INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 531 boulevard des Prairies, Laval, QC, Canada H7V 1B7
2INRS-ETE, 490 rue de la Couronne, Quebec, QC, Canada G1K 2A9
3IIMyC-CONICET, 3350 Funes, Mar del Plata, Argentina

Received 10 April 2016; Accepted 31 July 2016

Academic Editor: Yehuda Benayahu

Copyright © 2016 France Caza et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The sedentarism and wide global distribution of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis have made it a useful bioindicator to assess changes in the health status of the marine ecosystem in response to pollution and other environmental stresses. Effective biomonitoring of an ecosystem requires, however, that multiple biomarkers be used to obtain an accurate measure of the cumulative effects of different sources of environmental stress. Here, we provide a first integrated review of the biological, economical, and geographical characteristics of another species of mussels, the ribbed mussel Aulacomya ater. We discuss the use of Aulacomya ater as a complementary biomonitor to the blue mussel to assess the impact of pollutants and climate change. Recent findings have indeed shown that Mytilus edulis and Aulacomya ater have distinctive anatomy and physiology and respond differently to environmental stress. Monitoring of mixed beds containing blue and ribbed mussels may thus represent a unique opportunity to study the effect of environmental stress on the biodiversity of marine ecosystems, most notably in the Southern hemisphere, which is particularly sensitive to climate change and where both species often cohabitate in the same intertidal zones.