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.
Caza, F., Cledon, M., & St-Pierre, Y. (2016). Biomonitoring climate change and pollution in marine ecosystems: A review on aulacomya ater. Journal of Marine Biology. Hindawi Publishing Corporation. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/7183813