. Energy News .

Hidden effects of climate change may threaten eelgrass meadows
by Staff Writers
Gothenburg, Germany (SPX) Jun 05, 2013

Eelgrass meadows grow in shallow coastal waters and are among the most productive ecosystems in the sea. These meadows are now threatened, not only by climate change but also by overfishing and eutrophication.

Some research has shown that the effects of changes in the climate may be weak or even non-existent. This makes it easy to conclude that climate change will ultimately have less impact than previous warnings have predicted. But it could also be explained as direct and indirect effects cancelling each other out, as scientists from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, show in a paper recently published in PNAS, the esteemed US scientific journal.

To investigate how different climate impacts interact, an experiment was conducted at Kristineberg Marine Research Station.

"We raised the water temperature in miniature ecosystems containing eelgrass meadows, while simultaneously bubbling with carbon-dioxide. This allowed us to simulate a future climate scenario, characterized by both warmer waters and ocean acidification", explains researcher Christian Alsterberg.

Eelgrass meadows grow in shallow coastal waters and are among the most productive ecosystems in the sea. These meadows are now threatened, not only by climate change but also by overfishing and eutrophication.

"By studying eelgrass meadows on a ecosystem level, we were able to observe how plants and animals interact under changing climatic conditions. This also allowed us to measure the indirect effects, meaning the effects of climate change on an animal or a plant mediated through another organism."

For example, the metabolism of many crustaceans that live in eelgrass meadows increases when the water temperature rises. This in turn means they need to eat more algae and may consequently graze it more efficiently. At the same time, the growth of benthic microalgae on the sediment surface in the eelgrass meadows will be more vigorous.

Using statistical methods that separates direct and indirect effects, the researchers were able to discern how higher water temperature combined with ocean acidification affects not just individual species but also interactions between species in the ecosystem.

The researchers found that the effects are largely determined by the presence or absence of different fauna, primarily small algae-eating crustaceans. The net effect of changes in temperature and ocean acidification on benthic microalgae is non-existent if there are crustaceans in the ecosystem. But in the absence of crustaceans, the amount of benthic algae is largely controlled by positive and negative direct and indirect effects of higher temperatures and acidification.

The results showed that, without small algae-eating crustaceans in the eelgrass meadows, climate change could pose a much greater threat to their survival.

"The experiment also taught us the importance of investigating climate change using several different approaches, in order to fully understand its effects and to predict future impacts", says Christian Alsterberg.

Read the article here.


Related Links
University of Gothenburg
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Get Our Free Newsletters
Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear


Archaeological evidence points to the beginnings of viniculture in France
Philadelphia PA (SPX) Jun 05, 2013
France is renowned the world over as a leader in the crafts of viticulture and winemaking-but the beginnings of French viniculture have been largely unknown, until now. Imported ancient Etruscan amphoras and a limestone press platform, discovered at the ancient port site of Lattara in southern France, have provided the earliest known biomolecular archaeological evidence of grape wine and w ... read more

Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission Team Assemble Flight Observatory

Elevated carbon dioxide making arid regions greener

Landsat 8 Satellite Begins Watch

NASA Ships Sensors for Seafaring Satellite to France

Glitch puts off Indian navigation satellite launch by a fortnight

Orbcomm And Cartrack Deliver Telematics Solution For African Market

Narayansami Inaugurates ISRO Navigation Centre

Advanced aircraft detection to prevent 'friendly fire' mishaps

Brazil police deployed to contain land feud

Brazil grapples with indigenous land protests

Forest, soil carbon important but does not offset fossil fuel emissions

Smithsonian scientists discover that rainforests take the heat

Scotland gives green light to $710M wood biomass heat-power plant

Climate change raises stakes on US ethanol policy

Molecular switch for cheaper biofuel

Enzyme from wood-eating gribble could help turn waste into biofuel

US DoI Approves SolarReserve's 100 MW Arizona Solar Power Project

CTRL+P: Printing Australia's largest solar cells

Renewable energy project in Arizona, Nevada get U.S. approval

Greenwood Biosar Commences Construction of One of Vermont's Largest Solar Arrays

Uruguay deficit likely to speed windpower plans

Romania decree threatens green energy projects

Philippines ready to move forward on renewable energy?

Cold climate wind energy showing huge potential

Germany's top court hears case against giant coal mine

Glencore Xstrata cancels coal export terminal plans

Proposed U.S. Northwest coal export project scrapped

China mine accident kills 22: state media

Chinese website bans searches for 'yellow duck'

Obama urged to press China to free 16 prisoners

China blocks Tiananmen anniversary remembrance

Hong Kong marks Tiananmen as China blocks remembrance

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement