Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stop marine pollution to protect kelp forests

Date:
July 17, 2013
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
Marine biologists have found that reducing nutrient pollution in coastal marine environments should help protect kelp forests from the damaging effects of rising CO2.

University of Adelaide marine biologists have found that reducing nutrient pollution in coastal marine environments should help protect kelp forests from the damaging effects of rising CO2.

Related Articles


The researchers have found a combined effect on kelp forests from nutrient pollution and higher CO2, which could have a devastating impact on Australia's marine ecosystems.

"When we manipulated CO2 and nutrient levels in an experimental marine ecosystem we found the effect of both of them together was greater than the sum of their individual impacts," says Dr Bayden Russell, of the University's Environment Institute and Senior Lecturer in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

The project, by PhD student Laura Falkenberg, found that removing the nutrients from the water removed the combined effect, improving the environment for kelp growth.

Kelp forests are one of the most productive marine ecosystems in colder waters and form the basis of food webs for many fish and other marine life. "They are the coral reefs of colder waters," Dr Russell says.

"Increased nutrients from agriculture, wastewater discharge and stormwater on urban coasts are already causing damage to kelp populations in our coastal waters but our research shows that, as CO2 rises the impacts will be much worse and we could lose these really important marine habitats," says Dr Russell.

The researchers grew kelp in experimental tanks floating in the North Haven Boat Harbour with different combinations of added nutrients and CO2. They measured the growth of turf algae which is a precursor to kelp forest loss. As the turf algae grows it displaces the kelp.

"When we removed the nutrients but kept the CO2 high we found that after six months we'd reduced the turf algae by 75% -- we'd removed that synergistic effect," says Dr Russell.

"As we face a future of climate change and higher CO2 levels, there is considerable evidence that our marine ecosystems are going to be severely impacted. We won't be able to manage those global factors at the local level, but what we can manage is local nutrient pollution into our seas from urban areas," he says.

"This work has shown that by reducing the nutrients we should be able to substantially reduce the impact of rising CO2. The bottom line is that we need to reduce the nutrient pollution now."

The research is continuing with larger tanks, known as mesocosms, set up at West Beach and in natural marine areas where CO2 seeps into the water from seabed volcanic activity in New Zealand.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Stop marine pollution to protect kelp forests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130717095215.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2013, July 17). Stop marine pollution to protect kelp forests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130717095215.htm
University of Adelaide. "Stop marine pollution to protect kelp forests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130717095215.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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