Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Elevated Water Temperature and Acidity Boost Growth of Key Sea Star Species

03.06.2009
New research by UBC zoologists indicates that elevated water temperatures and heightened concentrations of carbon dioxide can dramatically increase the growth rate of a keystone species of sea star.

The study is one of the first to look at the impact of ocean acidification on marine invertebrates that don’t have a large calcified skeleton or external shell, and challenges current assumptions about the potential impact of climate change on marine species.

The findings were published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the lab, UBC researchers led by Rebecca Gooding manipulated water temperatures and CO2 levels in sea water tanks containing juvenile Purple Ochre Sea Stars (Pisaster ochraceus), a species found along much of North America’s Pacific Coast.

An increase in temperature of just three degrees and doubling of CO2 concentrations enabled the sea stars to grow almost twice as fast as they normally would over a period of ten weeks.

"This means the sea stars could potentially reach adulthood in about half the time it would typically take–and consume more mussels, their main diet, at much higher rates," says Gooding, a PhD student in the Department of Zoology working under the supervision of UBC Assistant Professor Christopher Harley.

At the end of the period, sea stars reared in warmer, more acidic waters weighed 17 grams, compared to control sea stars that weighed an average of only 11 grams. In contrast, existing studies suggest that an increase in temperature and CO2 levels hinder growth in most species studied so far—usually more calcified species.

"This complicates current assumptions. It looks like increased CO2 may not have negative effects on all marine invertebrates, suggesting that predicting the impact of climate change should consider how different organisms respond to changing climatic variables."

The Purple Ochre Sea Star is a cold-water species of sea star that can be found anywhere from Alaska to Baja California. It is most commonly found in the North Eastern Pacific. They can actually range in color from purple to orange to brown and have five rays that can range in length from 10 to 25cm.

They are considered a keystone species—a species that exerts a disproportionate effect on their ecosystem by preying on other animals.

Chris Balma | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>