Effects of ocean acidification on pelagic organisms and ecosystems

The marine pelagic ecosystem is responsible for about half of global primary production. It forms the base of the marine food web and thereby sustains world-wide fisheries. It is the primary driver of biogeochemical cycles in the ocean and plays an important role in the climate system through sequestration of CO2 into the interior of the ocean. Changes in pelagic ecosystem structure and productivity therefore can have far reaching implications for marine food webs, biogeochemical cycles and marine ecosystem services. This chapter reviews the basic physical, chemical and biological processes which structure pelagic marine ecosystems, summarizes our present understanding of planktonic organism sensitivities to ocean acidification and carbonation and discusses how organism-level responses could scale up in both time and space to affect ecosystem functions and biogeochemical processes.

Riebesell U., & Tortell P. D., 2011. Effects of ocean acidification on pelagic organisms and ecosystems. In: Gattuso J.-P. & Hansson L. (Eds.), Ocean acidification, pp. 99-121. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Book.

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