Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Warming temperatures cause aquatic animals to shrink the most

Date:
November 5, 2012
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Warmer temperatures cause greater reduction in the adult sizes of aquatic animals than in land-dwellers in a new study.

Warmer temperatures cause greater reduction in the adult sizes of aquatic animals than in land-dwellers in a new study by scientists from Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Liverpool.

The research published Nov 5 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that the body size of marine and freshwater species are affected disproportionately by warmer temperatures. This could have implications for aquatic food webs and the production of food by aquaculture.

The researchers compared the extent to which the adult size of 169 terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species responded to different non-harmful temperatures, in the largest study of its kind.

Summarising the results, co-author Dr Andrew Hirst from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, said:

"Aquatic animals shrink 10 times more than land-dwellers in species the size of large insects or small fish. While animals in water decrease in size by 5 percent for every degree Celsius of warming, similarly sized species on land shrink, on average, by just half a percent."

The research also demonstrates that the most likely cause of this difference in size is due to the much lower availability of oxygen in water than in air. Warming increases the need for oxygen by organisms on land and in water, however aquatic species have a much harder job meeting this increased demand.

Co-author Dr David Atkinson of the University of Liverpool explains:

"To satisfy increased demands for oxygen at higher temperatures, aquatic species have fewer options. Reducing the size at which they mature is their way of balancing oxygen supply and demand."

Lead author Dr Jack Forster also from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences adds: "Given that fish and other aquatic organisms provide 3 billion people with at least 15 percent of their animal protein intake, our work highlights the importance of understanding how warming in the future will affect ocean, lake and river dwelling species."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jack Forster, Andrew G. Hirst, and David Atkinson. Warming-induced reductions in body size are greater in aquatic than terrestrial species. PNAS, November 5, 2012 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1210460109

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Warming temperatures cause aquatic animals to shrink the most." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105151334.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2012, November 5). Warming temperatures cause aquatic animals to shrink the most. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105151334.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Warming temperatures cause aquatic animals to shrink the most." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105151334.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Iceland has lowered its aviation alert on its largest volcano after a fresh eruption on a nearby lava field prompted authorities to enforce a flight ban for several hours. Duration: 01:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) A lightning strike injured three people on a New York City beach on Sunday. The storms also delayed flights and interrupted play at the US Open tennis tournament. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) A study of almost 20 years' worth of satellite images shows Antarctic sea levels are on the rise as ice shelves continue to melt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins