Impacts of ocean acidification on physiology and ecology of marine invertebrates: a comprehensive review

Ocean acidification (OA) arises as a consequence of excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) inputs into the ocean, a situation further exacerbated by anthropogenic gas emissions. Predictions indicate that seawater surface pH will decrease by 0.4 by the end of the twenty-first century. Notably, studies have observed significant alterations in molluscan assemblages due to OA, leading to a substantial decline of 43% in species richness and 61% in overall mollusc abundance. Moreover, OA has been associated with a 13 ± 3% reduction in the skeletal density of massive Porites corals on the Great Barrier Reef since 1950, particularly affecting marine invertebrates. Given these impacts, this review aims to comprehensively assess the research status and main effects of OA on the physiology and ecology of marine invertebrates over the past two decades, employing bibliometric analysis. Additionally, this review aims to offer valuable insights into potential future research directions. The analysis reveals that research on OA and its influence on marine invertebrates is predominantly conducted in Europe, America, and Australia, reflecting the local extent of acidification and the characteristics of species in these regions. OA significantly affects various physiological aspects of marine invertebrates, encompassing the calcification process, oxidative stress, immunity, energy budget, metabolism, growth, development, and genetics, consequently impacting their behaviour and causing disruptions in the population structure and marine ecosystem. As a result, future research should aim to intimately connect the different physiological mechanisms of marine invertebrates with comprehensive ecosystem evaluation, such as investigating the relationships between food webs, abiotic factors, energy, and matter flow. Furthermore, it is crucial to explore the interactive effects of OA with other stressors, assess the potential for adaptation and acclimation in marine invertebrates, and evaluate the broader ecological implications of OA on entire marine ecosystems. Emphasizing these aspects in future studies will contribute significantly to our understanding of OA’s impact on marine invertebrates and facilitate effective conservation and management strategies for these vital biological communities within marine ecosystems.

Shi Y. & Li Y., in press. Impacts of ocean acidification on physiology and ecology of marine invertebrates: a comprehensive review. Aquatic Ecology. Article.

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