Saturday , September 25 2021

Company as usual for Antarctica krill despite marine acidification

Jess Ericson with Kawaguchi. Credit: Wendy Pyper

While previous studies indicate that some Antarctica life stages may be vulnerable to marine acid, the research has been published in Nature newspaper communication Biology found that adult chicken was largely unaffected by the ocean's acidity levels predicted in the next 100-300 years.

The study's leading author, IMAS Ph.D. student Jess Ericson, said that the long-term laboratory survey was the first of its kind.

"Our study showed that adult kids can survive, grow and mature when exposed to up to one year at levels of acidity that can be expected in this century," said Ericson.

"We bred adult barrels in laboratory tanks for 46 weeks in seawater with a range of pH levels, including those predicted today within 100-300 years and up to an extreme level.

"We measure a set of physiological and biochemical variables to investigate how future ocean acidity can affect survival, size, lipid stores, reproduction, metabolism and extracellular fluid of krill.

"Our results showed that their physiological processes were largely unaffected by pH levels that they are expected to counteract in the coming century.

"The adult krill we monitored was able to actively maintain the acid base in their body fluids when the sea level's pH level decreased, thereby increasing their resistance to sea acidification."

Ericson said it was important to find it because Krill is a key link in the Antarctic food chain.

"Ocean pollution caused by anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is estimated to occur most rapidly at high latitudes, for example in the southern ocean.

"Krill is an important substitute for marine mammals and seabirds, and any reduction of their abundance as a result of marine acidification can lead to significant changes in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic ecosystem.

"Increasing sea acidity is known to have adverse effects on a number of marine invertebrates, resulting in reduced mineralization or dissolution of calcium carbonate scale, reduced or delayed growth, increased mortality and delayed reproduction or abnormalities in offspring, including embryonic development of Antarctica.

"Our finding that the adult Antarctic bell is resistant to such conditions is therefore an interesting and significant result.

"However, Krill's detention in a changing ocean will also depend on how they respond to acidification in synergy with other stressors, such as ocean heating and ocean-level reductions," says Ericson.

Explore further:
Krill's behavior takes charcoal to the depths of the sea

More information:
Jessica. A. Ericson et al. Adult Antarctic Rabbit is resounding in a simulated high-carbon ocean, communication Biology (2018). DOI: 10,1038 / s42003-018-0195-3

Journal reference:

Provided by:
University of Tasmania

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