Ocean acidification in New Zealand waters: trends and impacts

The threat posed by ocean acidification (OA) to the diversity and productivity of New Zealand marine ecosystems is assessed in a synthesis of published trends and impacts. A 20-year time series in Subantarctic water, and a national coastal monitoring programme, provide insight into pH variability, and context for experimental design, modelling and projections. A review of the potential impact of changes in the carbonate system on the major phyla in New Zealand waters confirms international observations that calcifying organisms, and particularly their early life-history stages, are vulnerable. The synthesis considers ecosystem and socio-economic impacts, and identifies current knowledge gaps and future research directions, including mechanistic studies of OA sensitivity. Advanced ecosystem models of OA, that incorporate the indirect effects of OA and interactions with other climate stressors, are required for robust projection of the future status of New Zealand marine ecosystems.

Law C. S., Bell J. J., Bostock H. C., Cornwall C. E., Cummings V. J., Currie K., Davy S. K., Gammon M., Hepburn C. D., Hurd C. L., Lamare M., Mikaloff-Fletcher S. E., Nelson W. A., Parsons D. M., Ragg N. L. C., Sewell M. A., Smith A. M. & Tracey D. M., in press. Ocean acidification in New Zealand waters: trends and impacts. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. Article.

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