Effects of ocean acidification on benthic processes, organisms, and ecosystems

The consequences of ocean acidification to benthic organisms and ecosystems could be significant but are, overall, poorly known and quantified at this time. By integrating the current knowledge on the effects of ocean acidification on major benthic biogeochemical processes, individual benthic organisms, and observed characteristics of benthic environments as a function of seawater carbonate chemistry, it is possible to draw some general conclusions regarding the response of benthic organisms and ecosystems to a world of increasingly higher atmospheric CO2 levels. Large-scale geographical and spatial differences in seawater carbonate system chemistry, owing to both natural and anthropogenic processes, provide a powerful means to evaluate the effects of ocean acidification on marine benthic systems. Based on this approach, it is concluded that benthic biogeochemical processes such as calcification and CaCO3 dissolution as well as the community composition of benthic ecosystems will most likely be significantly altered by ocean acidification.

Andersson A. J., Mackenzie F. T., & Gattuso J.-P., 2011. Effects of ocean acidification on benthic processes, organisms, and ecosystems. In: Gattuso J.-P. & Hansson L. (Eds.), Ocean acidification, pp. 122-153. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Book.


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