Navigation Links
Run-off, emissions deliver double whammy to coastal marine creatures, UGA study finds
Date:10/24/2011

Athens, Ga. Increasing acidification in coastal waters could compromise the ability of oysters and other marine creatures to form and keep their shells, according to a new study led by University of Georgia researchers.

Their findings will be published in the November 2011 issue of Nature Geoscience. The researchers determined the combined effects of fertilizer runoff carried by the Mississippi River to the northern Gulf of Mexico and excess atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels result in an unexpected increase in the acidity of Gulf waters.

"Before, scientists only worried about low oxygen in waters along the coast," said Wei-Jun Cai, a professor of marine sciences in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. "Our paper basically says not only do we need to worry about low oxygen, we also need to worry about acidification."

When plumes of river water rich with nutrients from fertilizer run into coastal waters, phytoplankton thrives. When these algae die, they sink to the sea floor and decompose, releasing carbon dioxide and decreasing the amount of oxygen in the water. The dissolved carbon dioxide reacts with water, forming an acid.

Ocean acidity also increases when excess carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels is absorbed from the air at the ocean's surface. The combination of these two sources of carbon dioxide decreases the ocean's ability to neutralize acid, increasing acidity beyond what would be expected from the sum of the individual processes.

As the water becomes more acidic, sea creatures that form carbonate shells or skeletonsfrom single-celled amoebae to oysters to coralsare less able to produce and maintain these structures. If the acidity of coastal waters continues to increase, Cai and his co-workers predict that by the end of the century these creatures won't be able to form shells.

"Many of our fisheries resources, especially shellfish, are concentrated in areas where rivers discharge onto the coast, like the northern Gulf and the East China Sea, and thus are at risk," said James T. Hollibaugh, UGA Distinguished Research Professor of marine sciences. "And of course there are likely ramifications for fish and animals further up the food chain that depend on these same shellfish for food."

Hollibaugh collaborated with Cai on the project, along with UGA post-doctoral researcher Xinping Hu, graduate students Wei-Jen Huang and Yongchen Wang and doctoral graduate Pingsan Zhao. Additional authors on the paper include Michael C. Murrell and John C. Lehrter of the Environmental Protection Agency Gulf Ecology Division; Steven Lohrenz of University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth; Wen-Chen Chou and Gwo-Ching Gong of the National Taiwan Ocean University; Weidong Zhai, Minhan Dai and Xianghu Guo of Xiamen University; and Kjell Gundersen of the University of Southern Mississippi.

Although their research focused on Gulf of Mexico coastal waters, they extended their findings globally by making the same measurements on the Changjaing (Yangtze) River, the largest river in Asia, where they found similar results.

To minimize future damage to the coastal ocean, Cai and his colleagues recommend that farmers better manage fertilizer use and societies limit fossil fuel use. Their future research will explore seasonal patterns of acidification and its influence on the coastal ecosystem.


'/>"/>

Contact: Wei-Jun Cai
wcai@uga.edu
706-542-1285
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Production of biofuel from forests will increase greenhouse emissions
2. Links in the chain: Global carbon emissions and consumption
3. Ionic liquid catalyst helps turn emissions into fuel
4. Steep increase in global CO2 emissions despite reductions by industrialized countries
5. Study finds crop performance matters when evaluating greenhouse gas emissions
6. Wastewater recycling can multiply greenhouse gas emissions
7. Wood products part of winning carbon-emissions equation, researchers say
8. Switch from corn to grass would raise ethanol output, cut emissions
9. ARS and cooperators study cotton gin dust emissions
10. Consumption, carbon emissions and international trade
11. Scots carbon emissions could be halved in decades, study suggests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/20/2017)... ALLENTOWN, Pa. , March 20, 2017 ... PD 2.0 personal spirometer and Wellness Management System (WMS), ... Founded in 2010, PMD Healthcare is a ... Company with a mission dedicated to creating innovative solutions ... of life. With that intent focus, PMD developed the ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... Matching enables to match face pictures against each other or against large databases. ... Systems) ... the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. The speed is ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... VIEW, Calif. , March 9, 2017 ... 23andMe , the leading personal genetics company, are using ... now provide customers with personalized nutrition plans that consider ... but also genetic markers impacting how their body may ... food decision support platform uses biometrics such as Body ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/16/2017)... Telehealth has long been a standalone ... has been kept completely separate from discussions about ...   Logicalis Healthcare Solutions , the healthcare-focused arm ... managed services provider ( www.us.logicalis.com ), there is ... between telehealth, imaging, and EHR optimization that healthcare ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... ... On Tuesday, May 23 at 10:30 AM, James Sherley, Director of Asymmetrex ... that his company has recently achieved in collaboration with its partner, AlphaSTAR Corporation ... first partnering conference, Cell & Gene Exchange 2017 . In addition to ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... ... 15, 2017 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, the leading global ... health products, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Therachon AG, ... clinical development of TA-46, a novel protein addressing achondroplasia, which is the most ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... ... May 15, 2017 , ... Continuing to build off ... has today launched its first-ever cross-medium campaign, #StandFirm, with high-visibility social and digital ... social media channels, emphasizing Algenist’s stance on individuality and disruption: , We ...
Breaking Biology Technology: