FISH
SHELLFISH
PLANKTON

 

Biological Response

NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program supports research that focuses on economically and ecologically important marine species. Research of survival, growth, and physiology of marine organisms can be used to explore how aquaculture, wild fisheries, and food webs may change as ocean chemistry changes.


FISHERIES SCIENCE CENTERS

A number of NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Science Centers have state-of-the-art experimental facilities to study the response of marine organisms to the chemistry conditions expected with ocean acidification.

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center has facilities at its Sandy Hook, NJ and Milford, CT laboratories; the Alaska Fisheries Science Centers at its Newport, OR and Kodiak, AK laboratories; and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center at its Mukilteo and Manchester, WA laboratories. All facilities can tightly control carbon dioxide and temperature. The Northwest Fisheries Science Center can also control oxygen, and can create variable treatment conditions for carbon dioxide, temperature, and oxygen. These facilities include equipment for seawater carbon chemistry analysis, and all use standard operating procedures for analyzing carbonate chemistry to identify the treatment conditions used in experiments.

 


Corals

Both deep sea and shallow reef-building corals have calcium carbonate skeletons.  As our oceans become more acidic, carbonate ions, which are an important part of calcium carbonate structures, such as these coral skeletons, become relatively less abundant. Decreases in seawater carbonate ion concentration can make building and maintaining calcium carbonate structures difficult for calcifying marine organisms such as coral.

 


Fish

Increased levels of carbon dioxide in our ocean can have a wide variety of impacts on fish, including altering behavior, otolith (a fish's ear bone) formation, and young fish's growth. Find out more about what scientists are learning about ocean acidification impacts on fish like rockfish, scup, summer flounder, and walleye pollock.


Shellfish

Shellfish, such as oyster, clams, crabs and scallop, provide food for marine life and for people, too. Shellfish make their shells or carapaces from calcium carbonate, which contains carbonate ion as a building block. The decreases in seawater carbonate ion concentration expected with ocean acidification can make building and maintaining calcium carbonate structures difficult for calcifying marine organisms like shellfish. This may impact their survival, growth, and physiology, and, thus, the food webs and economies that depend on them.


Plankton

Plankton are tiny plants and animals that many marine organisms, ranging from salmon to whales, rely on for nutrition. Some plankton have calcium carbonate structures, which are built from carbonate ions. Carbonate ions become relatively less abundant as the oceans become more acidic. Decreases in seawater carbonate ions can make building and maintaining shells and other calcium carbonate structures difficult for calcifying marine organisms such as plankton. Changes to the survival, growth, and physiology of plankton can have impacts throughout the food web.


OAP SUPPORTED BIOLOGICAL RESPONSE PROJECTS

New Video on Ocean Acidification: Salmon and the Puget Sound

New Video on Ocean Acidification: Salmon and the Puget Sound

Tiffany Grunzel, University of Washington Communications Leadership Program

Ocean acidification could have deep impacts for salmon in the Puget Sound. 

Tiffany Grunzel from the University of Washington Communications Leadership program, interviews Dr. Shallin Busch (NOAA), Dr. Chase Williams (UW), and Robert Purser Jr. (Susquamish Fisheries) about the direct and indirect impacts of ocean acidification on salmon and what this could mean for tribal culture and the seafood industry.

A link to the video can be found here

Saturday, December 16, 2017
Categories: OA News
Mukilteo scientist tries to discover why C02 is hurting oceans

Mukilteo scientist tries to discover why C02 is hurting oceans

HeraldNet

Shallin Busch is a Mukilteo-based ecologist whose research is linking ocean acidification to the deteriorating health of the Puget Sound ecosystem. The Mukilteo team has looked at or is looking at ocean acidification effects on krill, salmon, Dungeness crab, black cod and pteropod (marine snails). So far it has found that lower pH levels lead to lower survival and slower development rates, as well as changes in behavior. 
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
What scientists are learning about the impact of an acidifying ocean

What scientists are learning about the impact of an acidifying ocean

OA-ICC

The effects of ocean acidification on marine life have only become widely recognized in the past decade. Now researchers are rapidly expanding the scope of investigations into what falling pH means for ocean ecosystems.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Studies testing kelp to ease effects of ocean acidification

Studies testing kelp to ease effects of ocean acidification

The Seattle Times

A team of scientists is investigating whether growing kelp can reduce carbon-dioxide levels in the inland marine waters of Puget Sound. They also want to find ways to market that harvested kelp for food, fuels or fertilizers.

Thursday, July 14, 2016
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