Ecological Responses to Ocean Acidification by Dr Norah Brown

When: Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020, 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Nanaimo Campus

Vancouver Island University, Arts and Sciences Building 355, Room 203

Add to CalendarEcological Responses to Ocean Acidification by Dr Norah Brown 01/29/2020 07:00 PM01/29/2020 08:00 PMMM/DD/YYYYAmerica/VancouverfalseaYqCFcQpUzxLBYhTummH26494

Ecological responses to ocean acidification
Dr. Norah Brown

ABSTRACT: Increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are rapidly affecting ocean chemistry,
leading to increased acidification (i.e., decreased pH) and reductions in calcium carbonate
saturation state. This phenomenon, known as ocean acidification, poses a serious imminent
threat to marine species, especially those that use calcium carbonate. I used a variety of
methods (field‐based experiments, surveys, meta‐analysis) to understand how marine
communities responded to both natural and experimental CO2 enrichment and how responses
could be shaped by species interactions or food availability. I found that ocean acidification
influenced community assembly, recruitment, and succession to create homogenized, low
diversity communities. I found broadly that soft‐bodied, weedy taxa (e.g., algae and ascidians)
had an advantage in acidified conditions and outcompeted heavily calcified taxa (e.g., mussels,
serpulids) that were more vulnerable to the effects of acidification, although calcified
bryozoans and barnacles exhibited mixed responses. My results highlight the importance of
considering animal communities as a whole, as responses are contingent on the interaction
between different species. For example, I found that acidification stress can tip the balance
towards invasive species and is dependent on food supply. Overall, it is clear that acidification
is a strong driving force in marine communities but understanding the underlying energetic
and competitive context is essential to predicting climate change responses.

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020
7:00 ‐ 8:00 pm
Refreshments: 6:45 pm
Vancouver Island University, Arts and Sciences Building 355, Room 203

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