Ocean acidification effects on marine organisms : a study of Littorina littorea and Balanus improvisus

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för ekonomi och teknik (SET); Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för ekonomi och teknik (SET)


The world’s oceans are becoming more acid in a process called ocean acidification. The pH of the ocean have already decreased by 0.1 units from pre-industrial time until today. Scientists predict that by the year of 2100 the pH will decrease by as much as 0.4 units. This is a big potential problem to many marine species, because they have developed in such a stable environment that has not changed for millions of years. It is difficult to predict how they might be affected by such a decrease in pH during a relatively short time period. Several studies have been made on marine species exposed to decreased pH-levels, the results showed changes in their physiology but it is hard to predict how these changes will affect the organism in a long-term scale and if this might change ecosystem dynamics. Our study measured the activity of Littorina littorea and Balanus improvisus when exposed to lower pH, the results of our study showed an increase in activity for the lower pH (pH 6.0-7.5) when compared to the control (~pH8). The area of ocean acidification is a field that requires further studies to fully understand its effects on the marine ecosystems and the species within it.

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