How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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How Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Impact a Benthic Foraminifer

Paper Reviewed
Wit, J.C., Davis, M.M., McCorkle, D.C. and Bernhard, J.M. 2016. A Short-term Survival Experiment Assessing Impacts of Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia on the Benthic Foraminifer Globobulimina Turgida. Journal of Foraminiferal Research 46: 25-33.

Introducing their publication on this important subject, Wit et al. (2016) note that few studies published to date have focused on aquatic organisms' responses to simultaneous decreases in seawater pH (ocean acidification, OA) and oxygen (O2) concentration (hypoxia); and, therefore, they describe how they recently did just that and what they learned by so doing in the case of the benthic foraminifer Globobulimina turgida.

Working with foraminifera-bearing sediments collected from the Mud Patch region of the New England continental shelf, the four U.S. scientists determined -- in a set of short-term (3.5 weeks) laboratory experiments -- that neither reduced oxygen (hypoxia) nor elevated CO2 (OA) lowered G. turgida survivorship. In fact, they found just the opposite in the case of oxygen reduction, in that the "survival percentages for low-oxygen treatments were significantly higher than those for high-oxygen treatments," and this irrespective of what the pH of the ocean water was.

Posted 3 June 2016