Ocean acidification will impact Atlantic lobster larvae, StFX Marine Ecology Lab study finds

Increased global CO2 production from anthropogenic sources is causing a slow, but sustained, acidification of ocean waters. Elise Keppel, a recent M.Sc. student at the StFX Marine Ecology Lab of Dr. Ricardo Scrosati, Canada Research Chair in Marine Ecology, has found that Atlantic lobster larvae grow smaller and take more time to molt throughout larval stages due to ocean acidification.

“These results suggest that, by being smaller and spending more time in the water column before settling in the sea bottom as juveniles, lobster larvae may suffer a higher predation from pelagic organisms under the ocean conditions predicted for the future,” Dr. Scrosati says. “Investigating effects on the survival and reproduction of adult lobsters would further clarify possible outcomes due to climate change.”

The study has just been published in the Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science.

Ms. Keppel is now starting a PhD program at Dalhousie University, where she will deepen her studies about climate change effects on coastal marine fisheries in Atlantic Canada, including lobster.

St. Francis Xavier University, 5 December 2012. Article.

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