This week the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network released an updated poster showing the response of 16 Alaska species to higher acidity conditions expected in the future. Arrows indicate the effects on calcification, growth, reproduction and survival. New features in the poster include additional species and details about life stages. The information is based on the results of lab studies published in peer-reviewed literature.
Researchers often note that the lab setting can produce more dire results than might actually be experienced in the wild, as the species don’t have an opportunity to adapt (swim away from the worst conditions, eat something different for more energy, etc.) However, the lab still provides valuable information for identifying winners and losers, as tracking species in the wild (particularly at early life stages) and teasing out the response of ocean acidification amidst multiple other variables is extremely challenging.
Project partners included the Alaska Ocean Observing System, NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center, and the Kelley Lab at University of Alaska Fairbanks.