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Anemones may flourish in more acidic oceans

By Shane Graber - Posted Oct 18, 2012 11:00 AM
Research published indicates that anemones might in fact have an edge when it comes to surviving more acidic oceans.
Anemones may flourish in more acidic oceans

Snakelocks Anemone colony in North Devon, UK. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

Climate change and ocean acidification are shown to have profound negative effects on calcifying corals due to reduced calcification, increased incidence of bleaching, and the like.  However, what about non-calcifying organisms in the coral phylum? What effect will ocean acidification have on them?  Surprisingly enough, some may flourish based on research performed at the University of Essex in Colchester, UK.

In their paper, "Sea anemones may thrive in a high CO2 world" researchers David Suggett, Jason Hall-Spencer, and others delve into this question by studying Snakelocks anemones, Anemonia viridis.

Their research at Vulcano, Italy shows that growth, size, and abundance of A. viridis increases as the dissolved CO2 increases in these waters.  In addition, photosynthesis and respiration also increased.  These observations are consistent with reports for certain other corals and merits additional research to better understand the findings.

David Suggett states that "understanding how CO2-enhanced productivity of non- (and less-) calcifying anthozoans applies more widely to tropical ecosystems is a priority where such organisms can dominate benthic ecosystems, in particular following localized anthropogenic stress."

Author: Shane Graber
Location: Indiana

Shane has kept saltwater tanks for the last 12 years, is a research scientist, lives in northern Indiana, and is a proud Advanced Aquarist staffer.


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