More and more people are talking about ocean acidification. At the moment this is a real threat and according to the studies conducted in the field, such a phenomenon can lead to the extinction of marine ecosystems.
The latest studies regarding ocean acidification show that it could lead not only to the extension of certain species as it has been believed until now, but entire ecosystems could disappear. As a result only a few species would survive and the ecosystems would become more homogenous.
What can we expect?
In case of ocean acidification the entire ecosystem of the oceans would be dominated by the same kind of species, mostly turf algae. At the moment the ecosystems are colorful with different kinds of plants and animals. This patchiness and diversity would be lost in the moment when ocean acidification becomes reality.
Future in the present
Ocean acidification has been studied at Castello Aragonese. Here the volcanic vents constantly release carbon dioxide bubbles, influencing the acidity of the water. Here the scientists can study the effects of acidification of the water and also the effects it has on the plants and animals.
In order to simulate the situations in different regions, the specialists chose low, medium and high acidity regions. They removed the plants and animals and measured the time spent until the region recovered. The study showed that the regions with high acidity needed more time to recover and less species were able to survive in such harsh surroundings.
It is interesting to mention that in all cases the turf algae would return to the site of the study. In case of the sites with lower acidity other species would return as well that would eat the algae, contributing to the diversity of the region.
Importance of the study
Calcareous glazers have an important role to play in maintaining the balance of the ecosystems and they also affect the acidity of the ocean waters. If the acidity of the waters increases, we will be able to see cascading effects, influencing several ecosystems in the same time.
Although some people might think that the acidification of the ocean waters doesn’t really influence our daily lives, they should never forget that the ocean surrounds us and if something changes in the ocean waters, it will have effects on dry land as well and, implicitly, on the lives of people.