CO2 acidification and its differential responses on aquatic biota – a review


  • Anthropogenic CO2 emission along with other stressors influences climate change.
  • Ocean acidification decreases the saturation state and the shallowing carbonate saturation depth in ocean bodies.
  • Increase in acidification stressor influence strong selection pressure on traits for fitness and evolutionary change.
  • Responses to CO2 exposure are species-specific.
  • Acclimation and adaptation strategies induce physiological and genetic responses to acidification stressor.


Carbon dioxide-induced acidification of aquatic systems is predicted to pose a serious threat to aquatic biota. Although the majority of the literature has highlighted the negative effect of CO2 acidification on aquatic biota, this work focuses on potential effects of CO2 acidification, both positive and negative, on aquatic life forms and the response strategies (acclimation and adaptive) in order to cope with the acidification stressor. Both freshwater and marine waterbodies are susceptible to CO2 acidification, and there are contrasting viewpoints with respect to the sensitivity and resilience of the species under acidification conditions. Response strategies shown by aquatic life forms have the potential for ameliorating the negative effects of acidification. Therefore, understanding the mechanism of response strategies is paramount, and these strategies need to be investigated both within generations and crossgenerationally to estimate the phenotypic and genetic variations that a species underwent.

Thomas A., Ramkumar A. & Shanmugam A., 2022. CO2 acidification and its differential responses on aquatic biota – a review. Environmental Advances: 100219. doi: 10.1016/j.envadv.2022.100219. Article (subscription required).

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