How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Do Acidifying Oceans Portend the Eventual Demise of Copepods?

Paper Reviewed
Pedersen, S.A., Hakedal, O.J., Salaberria, I., Tagliati, A., Gustavson, L.M., Jenssen, B.M., Olsen, A.J. and Altin, D. 2014. Multigenerational exposure to ocean acidification during food limitation reveals consequences for copepod scope for growth and vital rates. Environmental Science & Technology 48: 12,275-12,284.

Noting that "the copepod Calanus finmarchicus is a key component of northern Atlantic food webs, linking energy-transfer from phytoplankton to higher trophic levels," Pedersen et al. (2014) conducted a study of the effects of four different CO2-induced ocean acidification (OA) scenarios - recent ambient (380 µatm CO2), future pessimistic (1080 µatm CO2), future medium (2080 µatm CO2) and future higher than expected (3080 µatm CO2) - over two generations under conditions of limited food availability. And what did they thereby find?

The eight European researchers report finding "a significant delay in development rate among the parental generation animals exposed to 2080 µatm CO2 but not in the following F1 generation animals under the same conditions." And they go on to state that this discovery "suggests that C. finmarchicus may have adaptive potential to withstand the direct long-term effects of even the more pessimistic future OA scenarios" - even under conditions of limited food supply - which observations clearly underline, as they describe it, "the importance of trans-generational experiments."

Posted 18 February 2015