Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Calcification in changing oceans

Date:
July 23, 2014
Source:
The Marine Biological Laboratory
Summary:
What do mollusks, starfish, and corals have in common? Aside from their shared marine habitat, they are all calcifiers -- organisms that use calcium from their environment to create hard carbonate skeletons and shells for stability and protection.

Bryozoan Iodictyum yaldwyni.
Credit: Abigail M. Smith, University of Otago

What do mollusks, starfish, and corals have in common? Aside from their shared marine habitat, they are all calcifiers -- organisms that use calcium from their environment to create hard carbonate skeletons and shells for stability and protection.

The June issue of the Biological Bulletin, published by the Marine Biological Laboratory, addresses the challenges faced by these species as ocean composition changes worldwide.

As atmospheric carbon dioxide rises, the world's oceans are becoming warmer and more acidic. This impact of global climate change threatens the survival of calcifying species because of the reduced saturation of the carbonate minerals required for calcification.

The ability to calcify arose independently in many species during the Cambrian era, when calcium levels in seawater increased. This use of calcium carbonate promoted biodiversity, including the vast array of calcifiers seen today.

"Today, modern calcifiers face a new and rapidly escalating crisis caused by warming and acidification of the oceans with a reduction in availability of carbonate minerals, a change driven by the increase in atmospheric CO2 due to anthropogenic emissions and industrialization. The CO2 itself can also directly cause metabolic stress," write the issue's co-editors, Maria Byrne of the University of Sydney; and Gretchen Hofmann of the University of California-Santa Barbara.

Contributors to the journal address this timely issue across many taxa and from a variety of perspectives, from genomic to ecosystem-wide.

Janice Lough and Neal Cantin of the Australian Institute of Marine Science review historical data on coral reefs to look at potential environmental stressors, while Philippe Dubois (Universitι Libre de Bruxelles) discusses sea urchin skeletons.

Other researchers address lesser-known organisms that are nevertheless critical to marine ecosystems. Abigail Smith of the University of Otago examines how bryozoans, a group of aquatic invertebrate filter-feeders, increase biodiversity by creating niche habitats, and what features make them particularly sensitive to calcium fluctuations.

Evans and Watson-Wynn (California State University-East Bay) take a molecular approach in a meta-analysis showing that ocean acidification is effecting genetic changes in sea urchin larvae. Several papers take a broader population-based view by studying the effect of ocean acidification on predator-prey interactions in mollusks (Kroeker and colleagues of the University of California-Davis) and oysters (Wright and colleagues of the University of Western Sydney).

"The contributors have identified key knowledge gaps in the fast evolving field of marine global change biology and have provided many important insights," the co-editors write.

By sharing research on this topic from researchers around the world, the Biological Bulletin is raising awareness of some of the greatest threats to the oceans today and emphasizing the global nature of the problem.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Marine Biological Laboratory. The original article was written by Gina Hebert. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Marine Biological Laboratory. "Calcification in changing oceans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140723114202.htm>.
The Marine Biological Laboratory. (2014, July 23). Calcification in changing oceans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140723114202.htm
The Marine Biological Laboratory. "Calcification in changing oceans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140723114202.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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