Navigation Links
Elevated water temperature and acidity boost growth of key sea star species: UBC researchers

New research by zoologists at the University of British Columbia indicates that elevated water temperatures and heightened concentrations of carbon dioxide can dramatically increase the growth rate of a keystone species of sea star.

The study is one of the first to look at the impact of ocean acidification on marine invertebrates that don't have a large calcified skeleton or external shell, and challenges current assumptions about the potential impact of climate change on marine species.

The findings were published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the lab, UBC researchers led by Rebecca Gooding manipulated water temperatures and CO2 levels in sea water tanks containing juvenile Purple Ochre Sea Stars (Pisaster ochraceus), a species found along much of North America's Pacific Coast.

An increase in temperature of just three degrees and doubling of CO2 concentrations enabled the sea stars to grow almost twice as fast as they normally would over a period of 10 weeks.

"This means the sea stars could potentially reach adulthood in about half the time it would typically take -- and consume more mussels, their main diet, at much higher rates," says Gooding, a PhD student in the Department of Zoology working under the supervision of UBC Asst. Prof. Christopher Harley.

At the end of the period, sea stars reared in warmer, more acidic waters weighed 17 grams, compared to control sea stars that weighed an average of only 11 grams. In contrast, existing studies suggest that an increase in temperature and CO2 levels hinder growth in most species studied so farusually more calcified species.

"This complicates current assumptions. It looks like increased CO2 may not have negative effects on all marine invertebrates, suggesting that predicting the impact of climate change should consider how different organisms respond to changing climatic variables."

The Purple Ochre Sea Star is a coldwater species of sea star that can be found anywhere from Alaska to Baja California. It is most commonly found in the northeastern Pacific. They can actually range in color from purple to orange to brown and have five rays that can range in length from 10 to 25 centimetres.

They are considered a keystone speciesa species that exerts a disproportionate effect on their ecosystem by preying on other animals.


Contact: Chris Balma
University of British Columbia

Related biology news :

1. Landmark studies assess risk of exposure to elevated levels of EMS confirm clear toxicity threshold
2. Elevated carbon dioxide changes soil microbe mix below plants
3. Elevated nitric oxide in blood is key to high altitude function for Tibetans
4. Survey finds elevated rates of new asthma among WTC rescue and recovery workers
5. Toward cheap underwater sensor nets
6. Double trouble for water life
7. Monitoring water through a snakes eyes
8. Scientists urge global action to preserve water supplies for billions worldwide
9. Wind, salt and water are leading indicators of land degradation in Abu Dhabi
10. Better water use could reduce future food crises
11. Crop models help increase yield per unit of water used
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... on the growing mobile commerce market and creator ... a leading marketplace to discover and buy innovative ... wallet on StackSocial for this holiday season.   ... "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on the ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 27, 2015 In the present market scenario, ... for various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, ... growing demand for secure & simplified access control and ... as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , ... as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced that Google has adopted the Synaptics ® ... controller solutions to power its newest flagship smartphones, the ... Huawei. --> --> ... Google to provide strategic collaboration in the joint development ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... LOS ANGELES and HOLLISTON, Mass. ... Regenerative Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: HART ), a biotechnology ... announced that CEO Jim McGorry will present ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The ... (link below) for 30 days. Management will also be ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Oregon , November 25, 2015 ... Market Research Report is a professional and in-depth ... industry.      (Logo: ) ... overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications ... is provided for the international markets including development ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ... New York on Wednesday, December 2 at ... , president and CEO, will provide a corporate overview. ... at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT . ... will provide a corporate overview. --> th Annual ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered ... the company has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 ... posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico , with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: