Adverse effect of ocean acidification on marine organisms

Evidence over the past 20 years indicates that marine organisms live in a multistressor environment caused by anthropogenic activities since industrialization and agriculture have generated chemical pollution along with several modifications of the ocean temperature and pH [1].

Ocean acidification (OA) is a process induced by a change in the chemistry of carbonate. In normal situations carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced by either photosynthesis and respiration and in long term scale by geological processes, however the excess of CO2 generated by fuel burning and industries and released in the atmosphere is uptaken and stored in the oceans [2]. Such dissolved CO2 into the water surface is progressively creating a pH gradient towards more acidic conditions ultimately resulting in a generalized pH decline. pH of coastal marine waters varies of about 0.5 units in physiological conditions, however different conditions as seasonality, circadian cycles and runoff may strongly influence pH oscillations. At present, scientific community is alarming since it has been predicted that meanglobal pH will decrease of about 0.5 units within 2,100 generating a diffused OA. Furthermore OA will be accompanied by a generalized global warming [3] and changes of other parameters such as salinity and available oxygen. These multistress conditions may seriously threat marine species that live and reproduce along the coasts inducing pronounced deleterious effects on structure and functions of marine ecosystems. (…)

Gallo A. & Tosti E., 2016. Adverse effect of ocean acidification on marine organisms. Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development 6:2. Article.

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