Ocean warming and acidification effects on calcareous phytoplankton communities

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IMAGE: Examples of normally formed (a, c) and malformed (b, d) specimens of E. huxleyi (above) and R. clavigera (below) observed in the mesocosm samples
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Credit: ICTA-UAB

A new study led by researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) warns that the negative effects of rapid ocean warming on planktonic communities will be exacerbated by ocean acidification.

The research, recently published in the journal Scientific Reports of Nature, shows that some of the major environmental changes projected for this century in the Mediterranean Sea (e.g., ocean acidification, ocean warming, and the increasingly frequent marine heatwaves in summer) can have adverse effects on the productivity of calcifying phytoplankton communities (coccolithophores).

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by human activities have alarmingly increased in the past decades. A quarter of this anthropogenic CO2 has been absorbed by the

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