Ocean Acidification Makes Coralline Algae Less Robust
(Click to enlarge) This is a diver dislodging coralline red algal crust from rock surface using hammer and chisel while enduring the near-freezing water temperatures of the Labrador Sea. (Credit: Nick Caloyianus)
Ocean acidification (the ongoing decrease in the pH of Earth’s oceans, caused by the uptake of CO2from the atmosphere), is affecting the formation of the skeleton of coralline algae which play an important part in marine biodiversity, new research from the University of Bristol, UK has found.
(From Science Daily) — Coralline red algae form maerl beds which provide important habitat in shallow waters, including the UK coastal shelf. Maerl hosts a high diversity of organisms by providing habitats, shelter and nursery areas for, amongst others, fish larvae and young scallops. Both coralline algae and the maerl beds they generate are protected by national and international regulation as they form biodiversity hotspots and support fisheries.
The skeletal structure of coralline algae is composed of high- magnesium calcite, the most soluble form of calcium carbonate, and is therefore potentially vulnerable to the change in carbonate chemistry resulting from the absorption of human-made CO2 by the ocean.
Read the full article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160208083134.htm