Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Fauna and Ecosystem Processes

Journal Article

Title: Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Fauna and Ecosystem Processes
Publication Date:
February 14, 2008
Journal: ICES Journal of Marine Science
Volume: 65
Issue: 3
Pages: 414-432
Publisher: Oxford Journals

Document Access

Website: External Link


Fabry, V.; Seibel, B.; Freely, R.; Orr, J. (2008). Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Fauna and Ecosystem Processes. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 65(3), 414-432.

Oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) is altering the seawater chemistry of the world’s oceans with consequences for marine biota. Elevated partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) is causing the calcium carbonate saturation horizon to shoal in many regions, particularly in high latitudes and regions that intersect with pronounced hypoxic zones. The ability of marine animals, most importantly pteropod molluscs, foraminifera, and some benthic invertebrates, to produce calcareous skeletal structures is directly affected by seawater CO2 chemistry. CO2 influences the physiology of marine organisms as well through acid-base imbalance and reduced oxygen transport capacity. The few studies at relevant pCO2 levels impede our ability to predict future impacts on foodweb dynamics and other ecosystem processes. Here we present new observations, review available data, and identify priorities for future research, based on regions, ecosystems, taxa, and physiological processes believed to be most vulnerable to ocean acidification. We conclude that ocean acidification and the synergistic impacts of other anthropogenic stressors provide great potential for widespread changes to marine ecosystems.

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