Climate change from rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) is having two major effects in our seas – global warming and ocean acidification – and the combination of these threats is affecting marine life from single organisms to species communities.
Researchers from the University of Portsmouth are helping to build an artificial reef that could protect vulnerable marine ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea against climate change.
The reef is made of small plastic structures that mimic natural coralline algae (algae with calcium carbonate structures), which have a similar ecological function to corals. Coralline algae form reefs that are able to host different species to create highly diverse and complex environments.
Due to their calcium carbonate structures, coralline algae are extremely vulnerable ocean acidification, since their skeleton is very soluble to low pH conditions. Their survival and the survival of their associated species is at risk.
Read Full Story: Phys.org/University of Portsmouth
Photo: Nick Hobgood/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
To view the Creative Commons license for the image, click here.
Sign up today and take the pledge to save the world's oceans, and receive your very own passport to the high seas at: www.theterramarproject.org