AIMS seminar: “The effects of ocean acidification on zooplankton: using natural CO2 seeps as windows into the future”, 8 September 2016, Townsville, Australia

When: Thursday, 8 September 2016 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (AEST)

Where: AIMS Townsville – Main Theatre – Lot 35 Cape Cleveland Road Cape Cleveland, Townsville, Queensland 4816, Australia

Spearker: Joy Smith, University of Bremen (Germany), Plymouth University (UK), AIMS

Abstract: Ocean acidification has been at the forefront of marine science research due to the potential effects on entire marine ecosystems. Here, I’ll present results from my PhD dissertation that examines the effects of ocean acidification on microscopic organisms that are the basis of food webs, zooplankton. Natural CO2 seeps were used as windows into the future to compare differences in zooplankton communities that reside in ambient CO2 conditions to communities that live in high-CO2 conditions. Samples were collected and experiments conducted over three expeditions to two seep sites in Papua New Guinea, ensuring that trends were consistent in space and time. Overall, the study sought out to examine how ocean acidification affects zooplankton abundance, migration behavior, taxonomic composition, and fatty acid content. Once changes were observed in the zooplankton community, the mechanisms behind the alterations were investigated.

Specifically, shifts in habitat caused by ocean acidification were explored for their potential influences on the demersal zooplankton. A genus of copepods (Labidocera spp.), found to be highly sensitive to ocean acidification, was further investigated in more detail for possible changes in their physiology and habitat preference. This genus of copepods was previously not known to reside in reefs, and this discovery on changes in their behavior to reside in reefs will be highlighted. Changes in the zooplankton community are likely to have cascade effects on food webs via zooplanktivores, including corals. A case study on the stony coral Galaxea fascicularis explored the effects of ocean acidification on the ability of corals to feed on zooplankton. In coral reef ecosystems that are already highly vulnerable to ocean acidification, they may be even more impacted by ocean acidification if their food source is also altered.

About the Author: Joy originally hales from from the U.S., but is now completing her PhD through MARES, a joint doctoral program through the E.U.’s Erasmus Mundus initiative. She has split her time between the University of Bremen (Germany), Plymouth University (UK), and her final year has been at AIMS. Her work focuses on understanding the effects of ocean acidification on zooplankton communities that reside in coral reefs.

Further information.

 

1 Response to “AIMS seminar: “The effects of ocean acidification on zooplankton: using natural CO2 seeps as windows into the future”, 8 September 2016, Townsville, Australia”



  1. 1 AIMS seminar: “The effects of ocean acidification on zooplankton: using natural CO2 seeps as windows into the future”, 8 September 2016, Townsville, Australia — Ocean acidification | Oceanic Explorer Trackback on 7 September 2016 at 02:45

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