Experimental studies of ocean-acidification impacts on Mediterranean seafood species

An experimental facility has been established at the IAEA Radioecology Laboratory to study the effects of ocean acidification (OA) on various marine organisms, particularly from the Mediterranean Sea. Relative to other research groups that are studying OA, our focus is on commercially valuable seafood, beginning with fishes and cephalopods, and not on the ‘mega- calcifiers’ with shells of calcium carbonate. Thus these seafood taxa are not chosen based on ana priori mechanistic hypothesis of thermodynamic control of CaCO3 precipitation and dissolution. We have used a suite of radiotracers to assess short-term rates of incorporation of essential elements such as Ca and Zn, and trace contaminants that are also expected to increase in the future with industrial growth and increased nuclear power production to mitigate carbon emissions (GESAMP, 2001; IAEA, 2008). Our first results indicate morphological and/or physiological impacts of ocean acidification (OA) among these two commercially important taxa. Thus direct impacts of ocean acidification appear to extend beyond the marine calcifiers.

Jeffree R., Martin S., Lacoue-Labarthe T., Houlbrèque F., Oberhänsli F., Comeau S., Teyssié J.-L., Boisson F., Gattuso J.-P. & Orr J., 2008. Experimental studies of ocean-acidification impacts on Mediterranean seafood species. In: Briand F. (Ed.), Impacts of acidification on biological, chemical and physical systems in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, pp. 77-80. Monaco: CIESM. Article.

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