eCite Digital Repository

Effects of ocean acidification on Antarctic marine organisms: a meta-analysis


Hancock, AM and King, CK and Stark, JS and McMinn, A and Davidson, AT, Effects of ocean acidification on Antarctic marine organisms: a meta-analysis, Ecology and Evolution, 10, (10) pp. 4495-4514. ISSN 2045-7758 (2020) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1002/ece3.6205


Southern Ocean waters are among the most vulnerable to ocean acidification. The projected increase in the CO2 level will cause changes in carbonate chemistry that are likely to be damaging to organisms inhabiting these waters. A meta‐analysis was undertaken to examine the vulnerability of Antarctic marine biota occupying waters south of 60S to ocean acidification. This meta‐analysis showed that ocean acidification negatively affects autotrophic organisms, mainly phytoplankton, at CO2 levels above 1,000μatm and invertebrates above 1,500μatm, but positively affects bacterial abundance. The sensitivity of phytoplankton to ocean acidification was influenced by the experimental procedure used. Natural, mixed communities were more sensitive than single species in culture and showed a decline in chlorophyll a concentration, productivity, and photosynthetic health, as well as a shift in community composition at CO2 levels above 1,000μatm. Invertebrates showed reduced fertilization rates and increased occurrence of larval abnormalities, as well as decreased calcification rates and increased shell dissolution with any increase in CO2 level above 1,500μatm. Assessment of the vulnerability of fish and macroalgae to ocean acidification was limited by the number of studies available. Overall, this analysis indicates that many marine organisms in the Southern Ocean are likely to be susceptible to ocean acidification and thereby likely to change their contribution to ecosystem services in the future. Further studies are required to address the poor spatial coverage, lack of community or ecosystem‐level studies, and the largely unknown potential for organisms to acclimate and/or adapt to the changing conditions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ocean acidification, Antarctic, bacteria, climate change, CO2, fish, invertebrates, macroalgae, pH, phytoplankton, Southern Ocean
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Hancock, AM (Miss Alyce Hancock)
UTAS Author:McMinn, A (Professor Andrew McMinn)
UTAS Author:Davidson, AT (Dr Andrew Davidson)
ID Code:138972
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2020-05-15
Last Modified:2021-03-16
Downloads:21 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page