Monday, May 25, 2009

Will Starfish Benefit from Global Warming???


Based on studies by Rebecca A. Gooding, Christopher D. G. Harley, and Emily Tang at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in a study to be published in PNAS next week....
Rebecca A. Gooding, Christopher D. G. Harley, and Emily Tang. Elevated water temperature and carbon dioxide concentration increase the growth of a keystone echinoderm. PNAS Early Edition May 25, 2009)

To quote directly from their interview on Mongabay:
Climate change is expected to cause widespread disruptions to ecosystems and their resident species. Some creatures will go extinct, others will expand their ranges and thrive.

A new study identifies starfish as one of the possible winners from rising ocean temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations.

Rearing Pisaster ochraceus , a species of sea star, under varying conditions, Rebecca Gooding, Christopher Harley, and Emily Tang of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver found that increased temperature and acidity will significantly boost the echinoderm's growth rate, more than offsetting the negative effects of reduced availability of calcium carbonate, an important structural building block for many marine invertebrates. The results contrast with other research which has shown a negative correlation between increased ocean acidity and growth rates of calcifying species.

"Our findings demonstrate that increased [CO2] will not have direct negative effects on all marine invertebrates, suggesting that predictions of biotic responses to climate change should consider how different types of organisms will respond to changing climatic variables," the authors write. "Some ecologically important species... may directly benefit from acidification."
Go to Mangabay for the full story....

(Wow....I wonder if this makes my job prospects any better?)

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