Effect of ocean acidification on the benthic foraminifera Ammonia sp. is caused by a decrease in carbonate ion concentration

About 30% of the anthropogenically released CO2 is taken up by the oceans, which causes surface ocean pH to decrease and is commonly referred to as Ocean Acidification (OA). Foraminifera are one of the most abundant groups of marine calcifiers, estimated to precipitate ca. 50% of biogenic calcium carbonate in the open oceans. We have compiled the state of the art of OA effects on foraminifera, because the majority of OA research on this group was published within the last 3 yr. Disparate responses of this important group of marine calcifiers to OA were reported, highlighting the importance of a process based understanding of OA effects on foraminifera. The benthic foraminifer Ammonia sp. was cultured using two carbonate chemistry manipulation approaches: While pH and carbonate ions where varied in one, pH was kept constant in the other while carbonate ion concentration varied. This allows the identification of teh parameter of the parameter of the carbonate system causing observed effects. This parameter identification is the first step towards a process based understanding. We argue that [CO32−] is the parameter affecting foraminiferal size normalized weights (SNW) and growth rates and based on the presented data we can confirm the strong potential of foraminiferal SNW as a [CO32−] proxy.

Keul N., Langer G., de Nooijer L. J. & Bijma J., 2013. Effect of ocean acidification on the benthic foraminifera Ammonia sp. is caused by a decrease in carbonate ion concentration. Biogeosciences Discussions 10: 1147-1176. Article.

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