Impact details: changes in species composition

impact chain for tropical coastal areas / acidification (click nodes to view details):
selected case study results:
Case study reference
Spatial context
Impact description (case study)
Case study recommendations
Guinotte, J. M., & Fabry, V. J. (2008). Ocean acidification and its potential effects on marine ecosystems. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1134(1), 320-342. Global Elevated CO2 partial pressures (hypercapnia) will affect the physiology of water-breathing animals by inducing acidosis in the tissues and body fluids of marine organisms, including fishes. pH, bicarbonate, and CO2 levels within the organism are altered with long-term effects on metabolic functions, growth, and reproduction, all of which could be harmful at population and species levels. Future ocean acidification research needs include increased resources and efforts devoted to lab, mesocosm, and in situ experiments, all of which will aid in determining the biological responses of marine taxa to increased pCO2.

Ferrari, M. C., McCormick, M. I., Munday, P. L., Meekan, M. G., Dixson, D. L., Lonnstedt, Ö., & Chivers, D. P. (2011). Putting prey and predator into the CO2 equation-qualitative and quantitative effects of ocean acidification on predator-prey interactions. Ecology letters, 14(11), 1143-1148. Global species composition The effect of C02 on predator-prey relationships in reef fish communities was examined in this study. Mortality rate and predator selectivity were compared across CO2 treatments, prey size and species. Evidence suggests that CO2 induces marked changes in behaviour. Acidification may affect the predators by switching their foraging preference and/or the prey by creating species-specific alterations in anti-predator responses. Research showed that exposure to elevated CO2 affects both olfactory and auditory senses and a diverse range of behavioural activities in larval and adult fishes. It also directly affects brain function in larval fishes.
Small juveniles of all species sustained greater mortality at high CO2 levels, while large recruits were not affected. For large prey, the pattern of prey selectivity by predators was reversed under elevated CO2. The results demonstrate both quantitative and qualitative consumptive effects of CO2 on small and larger damselfish recruits respectively, resulting from CO2-induced behavioural changes likely mediated by impaired neurological functions.
Further research should also examine neurological effects and not just focus on impaired sensory perception.

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