Ocean acidification threatens cold-water coral ecosystems

Corals don't only occur in warm, sun-drenched, tropical seas; some species are found at depths of three miles or more in cold, dark waters throughout the world's oceans. Some cold-water coral reefs are home to more than 1,300 species of animals, a diversity rivaling some better known tropical coral reefs. Until now, scientists believed bottom trawling a commercial fishing method in which vessels drag large, heavily weighted nets across the bottom to be the greatest threat to cold-water corals. Now, however, a new study published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment suggests that human activities could be threatening cold water reefs in another way.

Lead researcher John Guinotte, a marine biogeographer at Marine Conservation Biology Institute (Bellevue, WA) and colleagues say that increasing amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), driven by the burning of fossil fuels, are dissolving into the oceans, causing them to become slightly more acidic. This change in seawater chemistry could harm deep-sea calcifying animals like corals.

Cold-water corals that make their skeletons from aragonite a form of calcium carbonate (the main component of limestone) are most vulnerable. Cold-water, reef-building corals are prevalent in the North Atlantic, where there is a deep layer of water supersaturated with aragonite. In pre-industrial times, more than 95 percent of cold water reefs around the world were found in waters supersaturated with aragonite. However, this layer of supersaturated water is shrinking as concentrations of CO2 increase.

"Scientists have known for years that shallow-water tropical coral reefs are threatened by both warming oceans and chemical changes in seawater caused by the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere. Above-average seawater temperatures have caused coral bleaching events throughout the world, and the calcification rates of corals exposed to more acidic conditions in laboratory experiments have shown worrisome

Contact: Annie Drinkard
Ecological Society of America

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. West African Ocean sediment core links monsoons to global climate evolution
2. Climate change signal detected in the Indian Ocean
3. Ocean observing contracts awarded to UC San Diego and University of Washington
4. Oceans twilight zone may be a key to understanding climate change
5. AAAS Oceans Panel examines advances in science and technology to boost fishery sustainability
6. Ocean governance: Evolving systems
7. Scientists discover new life forms in the Arctic Ocean
8. New study links western wildfires to Atlantic Ocean surface temperatures
9. Ocean temperature predicts spread of marine species
10. Ocean sampling yields environmental sources of coral symbionts
11. Continued warming of the Arctic Ocean

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015  In this ... the basis of product, type, application, disease ... in this report are consumables, services, software. ... are safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation ... report are diagnostics development, drug discovery and ...
(Date:11/2/2015)... 2, 2015  SRI International has been awarded a ... development services to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) PREVENT ... scientific expertise, modern testing and support facilities, and analytical ... and toxicology studies to evaluate potential cancer prevention drugs. ... PREVENT Cancer Drug Development Program is an NCI-supported pipeline ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph ... explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business ... The Internet of Healthy Things . ... smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, ... care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the leading supplier ... models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. , ... the management team and was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ... that Mr. Pierre Laurin , President and Chief Executive ... the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference ... December 1-2, 2015. st , at 8.50am ... meetings throughout the day. The presentation will be available live ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 HemoShear Therapeutics, LLC, a ... for metabolic disorders, announced today the appointment of ... of Directors (BOD). Mr. Watkins is the former ... Sciences (HGS), and also served as the chairman ... Powers , Chairman and CEO of HemoShear Therapeutics. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... NEW YORK , November 24, 2015 ... Squibb in a European healthcare ... in which the companies will work closely together in ... areas of unmet medical need. The collaboration is underpinned by ... latest LSP fund. This is the first investment by Bristol-Myers ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: