Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters FishingBoating Features Photo Gallery Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising MarineBusiness-World
Sail-World.com : The effects of ocean acidification on shellfish
The effects of ocean acidification on shellfish

'Boating to a dive location from Rothera Research Station in the Antarctic'    Sue-Ann Watson

An international study to comprehend and predict the likely impact of ocean acidification on shellfish and other marine organisms living in seas, from the tropics to the poles, has been published this week in the journal Global Change Biology.

Ocean acidification is occurring because some of the increased carbon dioxide humans are adding to the atmosphere dissolves in the ocean and reacts with water to produce an acid.

The results suggest that increased acidity is affecting the size and weight of shells and skeletons, and the trend is widespread across marine species. These animals are an important food source for marine predators such as tropical seabirds and seals as well as being a valuable ingredient in human food production. Consequently, these changes are likely to affect humans and the ocean’s large animals.

UK scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), together with colleagues from Australia’s James Cook and Melbourne Universities and the National University of Singapore, investigated the natural variation in shell thickness and skeletal size in four types of marine creatures living in 12 different environments from the tropics to the Polar Regions. Their aim was to get a clearer understanding of similarities and differences between species, and to make better predictions of how these animals might respond to increasing acidity in the oceans.

The effort required by clams, sea snails and other shellfish to extract calcium carbonate from seawater to build their shells and skeletons varies from place to place in the world’s oceans. A number of factors, including temperature and pressure, affect the availability of calcium carbonate for species that produce carbonate skeletons.

There is already evidence that ocean acidification is affecting the ability of some marine species to grow, especially during their early life stages, and there is mounting concern about whether or not these species can evolve or adapt to cope with increases in acidity in the coming decades.

This study shows, over evolutionary time, animals have adapted to living in environments where calcium carbonate is relatively difficult to obtain by forming lighter skeletons. Carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion is altering seawater chemistry in the same way, in a process called ocean acidification and this is making it harder for marine animals to make shells and skeletons.


Polar sea urchin from the Antarctic, Sterechinus neumayeri (Photo: Sue-Ann Watson)

Polar sea snail from the Arctic, Buccinum glaciale (Photo: Sue-Ann Watson)

Temperate sea snail from the UK, Buccinum undatum (Photo: Sue-Ann Watson)


The four different types of marine animals examined were clams, sea snails, lampshells and sea urchins. Scientists found that as the availability of calcium carbonate decreases skeletons get lighter and account for a smaller part of the animal’s weight. The fact that same effect occurs consistently in all four types suggests the effect is widespread across marine species, and that increasing ocean acidification will progressively reduce the availability of calcium carbonate.

Professor Lloyd Peck of British Antarctic Survey said, “This effect is strongest at low temperatures and the results showed polar species to have the smallest and lightest skeleton, suggesting that they may be more at risk in the coming decades as the oceans change. Interestingly, where ecology requires animals to have strong skeletons - for instance to protect them from impacts from floating ice in Antarctica - skeletons are made thicker and stronger. However, they still form a smaller part of the animal’s body mass, because the shape of the species changes to enclose much more body for a given amount of skeleton. Thus life finds a way, but still follows the overall trends of decreasing skeleton size in areas where the ocean chemistry makes it more difficult to obtain the necessary building blocks. If there is time for species to evolve in temperate and tropical regions it is one way they may be able to overcome some of the future effects of ocean acidification.”

Dr Sue-Ann Watson, formerly of the University of Southampton and British Antarctic Survey (now at James Cook University) said, “In areas of the world’s oceans where it is hardest for marine creatures to make their limestone shell or skeleton, shellfish and other animals have adapted to natural environments where seawater chemistry makes shell-building materials difficult to obtain. Evolution has allowed shellfish to exist in these areas and, given enough time and a slow enough rate of change, evolution may again help these animals survive in our acidifying oceans.”

This research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council


British Antarctic Survey website


by British Antarctic Survey

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=100890

8:42 PM Sat 11 Aug 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Power Boat News





























Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,






























Yamaha inspires students to succeed by Yamaha Motor Australia,








Swan celebrates sales success *Feature
4x4 Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo on the horizon
Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science
Stealth i14 out of China
Bivalves' ability to clean chemicals from waterways
Brisbane Boat Show 2014 - New boat engines set to rev up interest
Two rescued in tow from 13km offshore
Enhancing boating safety in the Mallacoota region
National 4x4 Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo - 4WD heaven
Yanmar selected for big torque at low revs
Sydney Boat Show display winners recognised *Feature
China Yachting Conference lines up the speakers
2014 National 4x4 Outdoors Show: Popularity of caravanning and camping
2015 Sydney Inte'l Boat Show - Boating Industry commences planning
Last chance to join 2014 Multihull Solutions Whitsunday Rendezvous
Dangerous conditions for boaters from this evening
Pacific Boating membership offers hassle-free boating *Feature
Marine15 expands trade, networking and B2B opportunities *Feature
2014 Auckland on the Water Boatshow - Huge prize packs up for grabs
4X4 Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo wows water lovers
John Wilson has sights set on second P1 SuperStock title   
Torquay Grand Prix - Pertemps tops table on penultimate day   
Plain sailing for yachts with river cargo ship ban in Shanghai   
Dangerous conditions for boaters from this afternoon   
Sydney Int'l Boat Show - Stellar results for Multihull Solutions   
NSW Environment Minister awards 'Fish Friendly' Marina Accreditations   
Refurbished Protector project 'better than buying new'   
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - High-Diver Steve Black is back   
4x4 Outdoors Show, Fishing and Boating Expo - Campfire cooking corner   
See the heat with FLIR ONE *Feature   
John Temple to retire, Will Sangster appointed General Manager   
Multihull Central launches Aquila range at SIBS *Feature   
If all else fails read the instructions!!   
If all else fails read the instructions!!   
Sun shines on recreational boating at Sydney International Boat Show   
Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature   
2014 Offshore Superboat Championships - The boats are back!   
Sydney International Boat Show - Days 3 & 4 *Feature   
Kirby Marine launch 13metre Naiad Tender   
Shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay to be rejuvenated   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png   http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS PBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT