Saturday , October 1 2022

The deal is common for Antarctic crill, despite the acceleration of the ocean


A new study by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) found that Antarctic krill is resistant to increasing ocean acidification as it absorbs more CO2 from the atmosphere due to carbon emissions.

Krill is one of the most abundant organisms on earth and a critical part of the marine ecosystem in the Southern Ocean.

While previous studies show that some Antarctic krill life stages may be vulnerable to ocean acidification, the research published in Nature Biology Communications found that adult crill was largely unaffected by ocean acidification levels predicted in the next 100 -300 years.

The lead author of the study, Dr. IMAS student, Jess Ericson, said the long-term study of the lab was the first of its kind.

Our study found that adult crill can survive, grow and mature when exposed for one year to ocean acidification levels that can be expected this century, "said Ericson.

"We have grown adult Krill in laboratory tanks for 46 weeks in sea water with a range of pH levels, including those currently, levels predicted from 100-300 years to an extreme level.

We measured a set of physiological and biochemical variables to investigate how acidification of future oceans can affect survival, size, lipid deposits, reproduction, metabolism, and extracellular krill fluid.

Our results showed that their physiological processes were largely unaffected by the pH levels they are expected to contract in the next century.

"The adult crime we have monitored has been able to actively maintain the acid-base balance of their body fluids as pH levels of water have decreased, thereby increasing their resistance to ocean acidification."

Ms Ericson said the finding was important because krill is a key link in the Antarctic food chain.

"It is expected that acidification of the oceans due to anthropogenic carbon emissions will occur most rapidly at high latitudes, such as in the South Ocean.

"Krill is a major prey for marine mammals and marine birds, and any drop in their abundance as a result of acidification of the ocean could lead to significant changes in the Atlantic Ocean and Antarctic ecosystem.

"Increased ocean acidity is known to have adverse effects on a range of marine invertebrates, causing decreased mineralization or dissolution of calcium carbonate shells, decreased or delayed growth, increased mortality and delayed reproduction, or abnormalities in offspring, including embryonic development of Antarctic Cricket.

"Our finding that adult antrictic critic seems to be resistant to such conditions is therefore an interesting and meaningful result.

However, the critique persistence in a changing ocean will depend on how they react to acidification of the oceans in synergy with other stressors such as ocean warming and sea ice, "said Ericson.

The study also included researchers from ACE CRC, CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, Australian Antarctic Division, and Aker Biomarine in Norway.

Image credit: Wendy Pyper.

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