Impact of acidification on pelagic calcifying organisms in the Mediterranean Sea

The carbonate system of the Mediterranean Sea and the response of the highly adapted organisms to the rapid CO2 increase are both poorly understood. Coccolithophores (planktonic photoautotrophic microalgae) are the dominant calcifying organisms in the Mediterranean today. Their calcite plates (coccoliths) present a large variability in both size and carbonate mass. Generally, supersaturation with respect to calcite and aragonite is observed throughout the entire Basin, which may be one of the reasons for overcalcification observed in coccolithophores in the eastern Mediterranean surface sediments. At the same time, however, effects that are ascribed to drastic increase in anthropogenic CO2 and subsequently in surface water acidification can be possibly observed in the coccolith morphology in other parts of the Mediterranean.



Ziveri P., Meier K. J. S., Auliaherliaty L., Beaufort L., Stoll H. M. & Triantaphyllou M., 2008. Impact of acidification on pelagic calcifying organisms in the Mediterranean Sea. In: Briand F. (Ed.), Impacts of acidification on biological, chemical and physical systems in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, pp. 99-101. Monaco: CIESM. Article.

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