Impacts of ocean acidification on marine seafood

Ocean acidification is a series of chemical reactions due to increased CO2 emissions. The resulting lower pH impairs the senses of reef fishes and reduces their survival, and might similarly impact commercially targeted fishes that produce most of the seafood eaten by humans. Shelled molluscs will also be negatively affected, whereas cephalopods and crustaceans will remain largely unscathed. Habitat changes will reduce seafood production from coral reefs, but increase production from seagrass and seaweed. Overall effects of ocean acidification on primary productivity and, hence, on food webs will result in hard-to-predict winners and losers. Although adaptation, parental effects, and evolution can mitigate some effects of ocean acidification, future seafood platters will look rather different unless CO2 emissions are curbed.

Branch T. A., DeJoseph B. M., Ray L. J. & Wagner C. A., in press. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Article (subscription required).


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