Ocean Acidification Changes Balance Of Biofouling Communities
(Click to enlarge) A close up of the pipe shows Spirobid worms and sponges used in the experiment. (Credit: Deborah Power)
A new study of marine organisms that make up the ‘biofouling community’ — tiny creatures that attach themselves to ships’ hulls and rocks in the ocean around the world — shows how they adapt to changing ocean acidification.
(From ScienceDaily)– Reporting in the journal Global Change Biology, the authors examine how these communities may respond to future change.
There is overwhelming evidence to suggest the world’s oceans are becoming, and will continue to become more acidic in the future, but there are many questions about how it will affect marine life. The ‘biofouling community’ — consisting of tiny species like sea squirts, hard shell worms and sponges — affects many industries including underwater construction, desalination plants and ship hulls. Removing these organisms (a process called antifouling) is estimated to cost around $22 billion a year globally. Read the full story »