reference : Effects of ocean acidification on temperate coastal marine ecosystems and fisheries in the Northeast Pacific

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Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract As the oceans absorb anthropogenic CO2 they become more acidic, a problem termed ocean acidification (OA). Since this increase in CO2 is occurring rapidly, OA may have profound implications for marine ecosystems. In the temperate northeast Pacific, fisheries play key economic and cultural roles and provide significant employment, especially in rural areas. In British Columbia (BC), sport (recreational) fishing generates more income than commercial fishing (including the expanding aquaculture industry). Salmon (fished recreationally and farmed) and Pacific Halibut are responsible for the majority of fishery-related income. This region naturally has relatively acidic (low pH) waters due to ocean circulation, and so may be particularly vulnerable to OA. We have analyzed available data to provide a current description of the marine ecosystem, focusing on vertical distributions of commercially harvested groups in BC in the context of local carbon and pH conditions. We then evaluated the potential impact of OA on this temperate marine system using currently available studies. Our results highlight significant knowledge gaps. Above trophic levels 2–3 (where most local fishery-income is generated), little is known about the direct impact of OA, and more importantly about the combined impact of multi-stressors, like temperature, that are also changing as our climate changes. There is evidence that OA may have indirect negative impacts on finfish through changes at lower trophic levels and in habitats. In particular, OA may lead to increased fish-killing algal blooms that can affect the lucrative salmon aquaculture industry. On the other hand, some species of locally farmed shellfish have been well-studied and exhibit significant negative direct impacts associated with OA, especially at the larval stage. We summarize the direct and indirect impacts of OA on all groups of marine organisms in this region and provide conclusions, ordered by immediacy and certainty.
Author Haigh, Rowan; Ianson, Debby; Holt, Carrie A.; Neate, Holly E.; Edwards, Andrew M.
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0117533
Issue 2
Journal PLOS ONE
Pages e0117533
Publisher Public Library of Science
Title Effects of ocean acidification on temperate coastal marine ecosystems and fisheries in the Northeast Pacific
Volume 10
Year 2015
Bibliographic identifiers
_record_number 24664
_uuid b6394fa4-61d8-48e8-ab3a-92666ccd87a8