31 de mai de 2006

Congresso Internacional na Bolívia em 2007

Congresso Internacional na Bolívia em 2007

Con mucho agrado, invitamos a Ud. (Uds.) a informarse sobre el Congreso Internacional sobre "Desarrollo, Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales: Sostenibilidad a Múltiples Niveles y Escalas" que se encuentra disponible en la siguiente dirección URL: http://www.congresoiuc.umss.edu.bo.

 

El tema general del congreso se relaciona con aspectos socioeconómicos, ambientales y aspectos de la sostenibilidad, y el hecho de que esta será alcanzable solamente si se la busca simultáneamente a diferentes escalas espaciales y niveles de toma de decisión. Con esta estrategia, es mas realista que los recursos naturales de la Tierra sean utilizados de tal manera que permanezcan disponibles para las generaciones presentes y futuras.

 

El tema general del congreso se desarrollará a través de 6 sub-temas relacionados con (1) geotecnia ambiental, (2) gestión integral de cuencas, (3) monitoreo, modelación y remediación de la calidad de aguas superficiales y suelos afectados por la actividad minera, (4) pesquerías continentales y ecología acuática, (5) biodiversidad y la conservación de bosques nativos, y (6) planificación y gestión en un ambiente incierto.

Apreciaríamos sobremanera si el anuncio de este congreso, y en particular el URL del mismo, es difundido por Ud. (Uds.) a otros colegas e instituciones relacionadas. Al atraer científicos de diferentes disciplinas de países en desarrollo y desarrollados, podremos contribuir en la discusión desde sus perspectivas de investigación en relación con la sostenibilidad y los avances y desafíos futuros de la ciencia en los campos arriba mencionados. Un mejor entendimiento de las posibilidades de cada uno, desafíos y limitaciones, a veces conflictivas, podrán ayudar a desarrollar de manera óptima hacia un mundo más sostenible.

Agradecemos de antemano el esfuerzo y el tiempo dedicado para atender esta solicitud.
Sin otro  particular saludamos a ustedes muy atentamente ,

Dr. Jan Feyen & Dr. Luis Aguirre
Presidente Científico del Congreso & Presidente del Comité Científico
(jan.feyen@biw.kuleuven.be & laguirre@fcyt.umss.edu.bo)

<hr>


Herewith we like to inform you that the information related to the above cited international congress is available on the Internet at the following URL:
http://www.congresoiuc.umss.edu.bo. The congress' general theme is related to the socio-economic, environmental and cultural aspects of sustainability, and the issue that sustainability is achievable only if sustainability is pursued simultaneously at different spatial scales and levels of decision-making.  By doing so it is more realistic that the earth's natural resources will be utilized such that they remain available for the current and future generations. The congress general theme is developed in 6 sub-themes related to (1) environmental geotechnics, (2) integrated river basin management, (3) the monitoring, modeling and remediation of the quality of surface water and soils affected by mine activities, (4) continental fisheries and aquatic ecology, (5) biodiversity and the conservation of native forests, and (6) planning and management in an uncertain environment.

We would appreciate if you give the announcement of this congress, more in particular the congress URL, to other collegues/institutions. By this the congress announcement will be more easily disseminated within and outside Latin America. In bringing scientists of different disciplines, from the developed and the developing countries together might help in discussing the perspectives of the researchers in relation to sustainability and the advances and future challenges of science in the fields mentioned above, of those living in the northern and those living in the southern hemisphere. A better understanding of each others possibilities, challenges and constraints, although often conflicting, might help evolving stepwise to a more sustainable world.

Thanking you in advance for the effort and time devoted to handling this request, we remain.

Cordially,

Dr. Jan Feyen & Dr. Luis Aguirre
Scientific congress chairman & Chairman of the scientific committee
(jan.feyen@biw.kuleuven.be & laguirre@fcyt.umss.edu.bo)

Ing. M.Sc. Mabel Magariños
Secretaría Congreso Internacional sobre
Desarrollo Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales:
Sostenibilidad a Múltiples-Niveles y Escalas
http://www.congresoiuc.umss.edu.bo

Programa IUC - UMSS
Universidad Mayor de San Simón
Calle Sucre Frente al Parque
La Torre
Tel.Fax +591-4-4234244
Cochabamba - Bolivia

30 de mai de 2006

1º Simpósio sobre Biomas Costeiros e Marinhos

1º Simpósio sobre Biomas Costeiros e Marinhos

Agência FAPESP - A primeira edição do Simpósio sobre Biomas Costeiros e Marinhos, de 5 a 9 de junho, em Salvador, pretende ampliar o debate sobre degradação ambiental causada pela exploração dos recursos naturais e a ocupação do território brasileiro.

O evento, que terá como tema central "Recuperação, Conservação e Desenvolvimento", pretende buscar soluções e alternativas que minimizem os impactos ambientais dos ecossistemas costeiros e marinhos. A promoção é do Centro Brasileiro para Conservação da Natureza e Desenvolvimento Sustentável (CBCN).

"Amazônia Azul: um Projeto da Marinha Brasileira", "As ações antrópicas e seus impactos", "Experiências comunitárias em manguezais", "O ecoturismo como alternativa para o desenvolvimento regional sustentável" e "A contribuição do setor privado para a conservação dos biomas costeiros e marinhos" são alguns assuntos da programação científica.

Mais informações:

www.biomasbrasileiros.com.br

29 de mai de 2006

Seleção ao Mestrado em Oc. Biológica da FURG

Seleção ao Mestrado em Oc. Biológica da FURG

Anunciamos que estão abertas as inscrições para a Selação ao Mestrado do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Oceanografia Biológica, na FURG, que será realizada em 26 de Junho próximo. Detalhes sobre a inscrição podem ser encontrados em http://www.ocbio.furg.br

Atenciosamente,
Dra. Virginia M.T. Garcia

27 de mai de 2006

European Marine Biology Symposium, August 27-31, 2007, Kiel, Germany

European Marine Biology Symposium, August 27-31, 2007, Kiel, Germany

We would like to invite you to visit the European Marine Biology Symposium from August 27-31, 2007 held in Kiel, Germany. For further information and preregistration, please visit our website:
http://www.embs42.de

Looking forward to welcome you in Kiel we remain
sincerely yours,

Prof.Dr.Ulrich Sommer
Head of Research Unit 3
Marine Ecology, IFM-GEOMAR
Institute of Marine Sciences
Düsternbrooker Weg 20
24105 Kiel, Germany
office@embs42.de

23 de mai de 2006

Sociedade Brasileira de Plâncton

Sociedade Brasileira de Plâncton

A Sociedade Brasileira de Plâncton é uma sociedade civil, sem fins lucrativos, fundada em 20 outubro de 2004, na cidade do Recife. É uma Sociedade Científica, Cultural e Educacional tem como finalidade:           

  • congregar todas as pessoas interessadas no desenvolvimento de estudos planctonológicos;
  • incentivar e contribuir para o conhecimento e a produção científica no campo da Planctonologia básica e aplicada;
  • promover o intercâmbio permanente com planctonologistas e especialistas em ciências afins, com instituições nacionais e internacionais e empresas interessadas no desenvolvimento de pesquisas planctonológicas;
  • propugnar, promover e apoiar a pesquisa, o ensino e a extensão, correlacionadas ao estudo do Plâncton;
  • assessorar e aconselhar entidades oficiais ou particulares no que concerne ao desenvolvimento de estudos planctonológicos em ambientes limnéticos, estuarinos e marinhos;
  • organizar e manter um banco de dados na área da Planctonologia;
  • promover e apoiar a realização de eventos nacionais e internacionais; reuniões científicas e técnicas de pesquisadores, professores e dirigentes de entidades e órgãos ligados ao estudo do Plâncton e ciências afins;
  • criar e manter o Journal of Brazilian Plankton, on line e/ou impressa e outros informes eventuais.
Saite: www.plankton.org.br

Parabéns ao presidente da Associação, Dr. Zanon Passavante e todos os outros colaboradores e sócios da sociedade por esta importantíssima iniciativa para a plânctologia no Brasil.

16 de mai de 2006

2007 International Biogeography Society Conference

2007 International Biogeography Society Conference

The International Biogeography Society will hold its 3rd biennial conference from 9-13 January 2007. The conference will take place in Tenerife on the Canary Islands. Please visit www.biogeography.org for more information on the conference and our society. Registration for the conference will be available soon.

Fourth European Phycological Congress

Fourth European Phycological Congress

On behalf of the International Organising Committee I should like to announce that The Fourth European Phycological Congress will take place from 23-28 July 2007 at the University of Oviedo in northern Spain.

This is a wonderful venue in a particularly beautiful area. Oviedo is a very interesting city with a very lively historical centre, great food and a
lively social scene. There are now direct flights from a number of European airports.

The Symposium Web Site is now available at

http://www.ivepc.es/

and you can now pre-register on the site.

The preliminary programme is as follows.

Symposia themes:

The following themes will form the 6 scientific Symposia of EPC-4:

1. Genomics and Cellular Biology (headed by Christos Katsaros and Kirsten Heimann)
2. Phylogeny and Taxonomy (headed by Christine Maggs and Ester Serrano)
3. Global Change: From Lakes to Oceans (headed by Anita Buma and John Raven)
4. Ecological Interactions and Ecophysiology (headed by Stephen Maberly andFelix Figueroa)
5. Biogeography, Biodiversity and Conservation (headed by Juliet Brodie and Hans-Rudof Preisig)
6. Applied Phycology (headed by Matt Dring and Alvaro Israel)

Each of these 6 Symposia will include up to 4 Sessions. Parallel Sessions will be held for Symposia 1, 2, 3 and 4, 5, 6. Poster sessions will be held daily between the am and pm Symposia Sessions.

Keynote Lectures:

The 4 Symposia days will start with Keynote Lectures by the following speakers:

1. Ricardo Amils (on Astrophycology)
2. Paul Falkowski (on Global Change)
3. Debashish Bhattacharya (on Phylogeny)
4. Rene Wijffels (on Biotechnology)

Professor M.D. Guiry
President, British Phycological Society
C/o Martin Ryan Institute NUI Galway, University Rd
Galway, Ireland
http://www.seaweed.ie/guiry

Ecosystem Services in the Neotropics - International Congress

Ecosystem Services in the Neotropics - International Congress

This international congress aims at contributing and strengthening studies on ecosystem services such as water regulation, biodiversity conservation and recreation in the tropical and temperate areas of Latin America and the Caribbean, from Mexico to Patagonia. It will make a significant contribution to the knowledge on ecosystem services from terrestrial and aquatic systems as well as will promote research, collaboration and networking in this region. Leading scientists and representatives of different organizations will gather to discuss and disseminate the current knowledge and controversial issues concerning ecosystem services. Researchers from other regions and comparative studies are welcome. The congress will also provide innovative experiences for graduate students, young researchers and other professionals.

Organizing Institution

The event is organized by FORECOS, a Scientific Nucleus part of the Millennium Scientific Initiative funded by the Chilean Ministry of Planning (MIDEPLAN), based in Universidad Austral de Chile. FORECOS focuses on the research, education and outreach on Forest Ecosystem Services to Aquatic Systems from a transdisciplinary approach.

9 de mai de 2006

Molluscs 2006, 6 - 8 December 2006, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Molluscs 2006 - Molluscs in Research, Conservation and the Economy

Preliminary Notice of Triennial meeting of the Malacological Society of Australasia

6 - 8 December 2006, University of Wollongong, NSW plus two day pre and post conference workshops (4-5th Dec, 9-10 Dec)

The objective of this meeting is to bring together students, established researchers, naturalists and members of government and NGO agencies that have an interest in molluscs. The meeting will focus on current research involving molluscs in the Australasian area.

Molluscs are the second largest animal phylum and many are ecologically and economically important. They are dominant organisms in marine environments and have suffered more human-induced extinctions on land and in freshwaters than seen in all tetrapod vertebrates.

Themes:

   a.. Applied studies (aquaculture, fisheries, parasitology, invasive species)
   b.. Conservation and ecology (including endangered species, indicator species, molluscs in experimental ecology, tracking environmental changes)
   c.. Systematics (including taxonomy, phylogeny, evolution, faunistics, biogeography)
   d.. Genetics and development (population genetics, evolution-development, larval development)
Venue: McKinnon Centre, University of Wollongong.

Wollongong is about 1.5 hrs by road or rail south of Sydney. Details on other options for travel to Wollongong from Sydney provided on the conference website

Registration: on line at the conference website

Preconference Workshop

Dr Mark Norman and Dr Mandy Reid - cephalopod identification and biology (two days 4th - 5th Dec)

Postconference Workshop

Dr John Stanisic and Mr Michael Shea - land snails their identification, diversity and conservation (two days 9th - 10th Dec)

For more information contact:

Mark Norman: mnorman@museum.vic.gov.au

or

Winston Ponder: wponder@bigpond.net.au

3 de mai de 2006

Third International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium: 16-20 October 2006, Cozumel, Mexico

Third International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium: 16-20 October 2006, Cozumel, Mexico

Source: ITMEMS update, March 2006, Penny Stock, Coordinator ITMEMS 3, International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN), Email: Administrator@icriforum.org
The Third International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium (ITMEMS 3) will be held during 16-20 October 2006 in Cozumel, Mexico. Hosted by the Governments of Japan and Palau with the support of the Government of Mexico, the meeting will provide approximately 400 participants with the opportunity to work together to: Share practical knowledge and experiences relating to coral reef management, Identify gaps and solutions to common management problems, Strengthen networks within the coral reef and tropical marine ecosystem community, and Define future priorities for the management of coral reefs and related ecosystems for the next 5-10 years, addressing scales from local to global with emphasis on action to extend and improve management.

It is important to note that ITMEMS is not a scientific or academic meeting. It is very specifically a symposium for local coastal and marine managers, organized around workshops and creating opportunities for networking, mentoring, capacity development and building a professional peer group for managers.

It also includes a special session on Local Government (the fourteenth theme), to be hosted by the Mayor of Cozumel in partnership with a group of at least 6 other Mayors, one representing each tropical marine region. The ITMEMS Program Committee would welcome suggestions and nominations of Mayors of coastal cities and towns who might be interested in the opportunity to attend ITMEMS 3, participate in this visible and important special session, and contribute to dialogue and recommendations on issues relating to local government and management of coral reefs and marine ecosystems.

If you would like a copy of the agenda, still in draft form, to give you an overview of the current proposed structure of the meeting, please contact Penny Stock directly. Feedback and inputs will be very welcome. If you have any questions about any of the above or need any further information, please contact Penny Stock, Coordinator ITMEMS 3, International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN), c/o UNEP - WCMC, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, United Kingdom; email: pstock@icran.org; website: http://www.itmems.org or http://www.icran.org  Details about registration will be posted on http://www.itmems.org shortly.

2 de mai de 2006

Corais inusitados

Corais inusitados

Agência FAPESP - A acidificação dos oceanos, causado pela maior quantidade de dióxido de carbono na atmosfera, e a pesca feita cada vez mais em escala industrial, por todos os mares, são os piores inimigos para os corais de águas frias ou de profundidades maiores. A afirmação consta de um estudo publicado pela revista Science desta semana.

Segundo o artigo, que faz uma revisão de todas as últimas descobertas sobre esses corais inusitados ? o mais comum é encontrar esses ambientes em águas tropicais e rasas ?, os dois fatores apontados anteriormente são até mais maléficos para os ecossistemas que os vazamentos de óleo, por exemplo.

Para Murray Roberts, da Sociedade Escozesa de Ciências Marinhas, e colaboradores os corais das águas frias e também os mais profundos precisam ser muito mais estudados pelos cientistas. A falta de informação que existe sobre eles, em comparação com os similares dos trópicos, é muito grande.

Os corais, lembram os pesquisadores, são importantes por vários motivos. Além de serem um verdadeiro centro de diversidade biológica, eles servem para estudos de biogeografia e de funções biogeológicas. ?Além, também, de oferecerem muitas informações paleoclimáticas importantes?, afirmam os cientistas no artigo.

O artigo Reefs of the Deep: The Biology and Geology of Cold-Water Coral Ecosystems pode ser lido no site: www.sciencemag.org

1 de mai de 2006

Scientists Find Unusual Use of Metals in the Ocean

Scientists Find Unusual Use of Metals in the Ocean

Cadmium, commonly considered a toxic metal and often used in combination with nickel in batteries, has been found to have a biological use as a nutrient in the ocean, the first known biological use of cadmium in any life form.

Scientists have discovered cadmium within an enzyme from a marine diatom, an algae or plankton common in the ocean and a major source of food for many organisms. The finding, reported in the May 5 issue of Nature, suggests that certain trace metals, found in very low concentrations in the ocean, are utilized by enzymes that have not been found in organisms from terrestrial environments.

http://www.whoi.edu/mr/pr.do?id=4499

Tiny Marine Organisms Reflect Ocean Warming

Tiny Marine Organisms Reflect Ocean Warming

source: http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/ar ticle_detail.cfm?article_num=709

Sediment cores collected from the seafloor off Southern California reveal that plankton populations in the Northeastern Pacific changed significantly in response to a general warming trend that started in the early 1900s.

As ocean temperatures increased, subtropical and tropical species of small marine organisms called foraminifera (forams) became more abundant. Forams that live in cooler waters decreased, especially after the mid-1970s. These changes are unlike anything seen during the previous 1,400 years. Oceanographer David Field discovered these dramatic changes during his Ph.D. work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. He currently works as a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Field and his co-authors describe their findings in the current issue of Science magazine.

Foraminifera are small, amoeba-like organisms that live inside tiny shells ("tests") several of which might fit on the head of pin. Most forams live near the surface of the world's oceans. Different species of forams live in ocean waters of different temperatures. When forams die, they sink to the seafloor, where their shells are often preserved as fossils in seafloor sediments.

Field studied fossilized forams in one- to three-meter-long sediment cores collected at the bottom of the Santa Barbara Basin, off Southern California. In this area, dead plankton and sediments settle onto the seafloor to form distinct annual layers similar to growth rings in a tree. At 600 meters beneath the ocean surface, seawater in the Santa Barbara Basin contains very little oxygen, so few bottom-dwelling animals disturb the sediments and the annual layers remain relatively intact.

In conducting this study, Field worked with Timothy Baumgartner and Vicente Ferreira-Bartrina of Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, Mexico and with Christopher Charles and Mark Ohman of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

Field and his coauthors examined yearly sediment layers that were formed up to 1,400 years ago. Counting the different species of foraminifera in each layer, they discovered that many species of tropical and subtropical forams became more abundant after about 1925. Although previous studies have shown an ocean warming trend beginning at about this time, scientists have debated how much of this warming trend was due to natural variability. In order to address this issue, scientists needed more long-term data. Field's data set extends far enough back in time to demonstrate that the 20th century warming trend surpassed the range of natural variability.

Many previous studies have shown that a rapid warming and a dramatic change in eastern North Pacific ecosystems occurred in the mid-1970s. At this time, species of plankton, kelp, fish and seabirds that prefer warmer waters increased and species favoring colder conditions decreased. Most scientists agree that part of the warming of the global oceans and atmosphere since the mid-1970s has been caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases. However, it has been unclear whether the ecosystem changes at this time were associated with anthropogenic warming. Field's sediment cores show that tropical and subtropical species of forams became even more abundant during this period while forams that prefer cooler waters decreased. The resulting foram community was unlike anything seen during the last 1,400 years. These long-term data indicate that the ecosystem changes since the mid-1970s are best explained by anthropogenic warming.

According to Field, "These data show that ocean warming has been affecting foram populations prior to the late twentieth century. However, changes since the 1970s have been particularly unusual, and show that ocean ecosystems in the northeastern Pacific have passed some threshold of natural variability." He also points out that most scientific data about the ocean have been collected during recent decades, after ocean temperatures and marine ecosystems had already begun to change. As Field notes, "It's a classic case of 'shifting baselines'-conditions that scientists think of as normal today might actually be very atypical when you look back a few hundred years."

This study provides a long-term context for many other studies of oceanographic and ecological conditions off the California coast. It was conducted as part of the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. The LTER program supports ecological research over long time periods in a variety of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The research was supported by the Achievement Rewards for College Students-Los Angeles division, the University of California ship funds and Coastal Initiatives, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, S. and B. Kimmich, the National Science Foundation and the California Current Ecosystem LTER.

Marine Organisms Threatened By Increasingly Acidic Ocean

Marine Organisms Threatened By Increasingly Acidic Ocean
Corals and Plankton May Have Difficulty Making Shells

Every day, the average person on the planet burns enough fossil fuel to emit 24 pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, out of which about nine pounds is then taken up by the ocean.  As this CO2 combines with seawater, it forms an acid in a process known as ocean acidification.  

A new study by an international team of oceanographers published in the September 29, 2005 issue of Nature reports that ocean acidification could result in corrosive chemical conditions much sooner than previously thought. Within 50 to 100 years, there could be severe consequences for marine calcifying organisms, which build their external skeletal material out of calcium carbonate, the basic building block of limestone. Most threatened are cold-water calcifying organisms, including sea urchins, cold-water corals, coralline algae, and plankton known as pteropods-winged snails that swim through surface waters. These organisms provide essential food and habitat to others, so their demise could affect entire ocean ecosystems.

In the Nature study, a group of 27 marine chemists and biologists from Europe, Japan, Australia and the United States combined recently compiled global ocean carbon data with computer models to study potential future changes in the ocean CO2 system.  The addition of carbon dioxide to the ocean lowers the pH of seawater, although seawater remains slightly basic with a pH greater than 7. The models project that the ocean's coldest surface waters, such as in the Weddell Sea of Antarctica, will become corrosive to pteropods much sooner than thought.  Shells of these marine organisms may simply dissolve as soon as atmospheric CO2 reaches the levels that are expected to occur in about 50 years under the IS92a business-as-usual CO2 emissions scenario.  

"We have recognized for several decades that the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from fossil-fuel combustion will lead to ocean acidification," said Scott Doney, a senior scientist in the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and one of the study authors. "Previous studies have noted
that this change in ocean chemistry will hurt warm water species such as corals that build shells out of calcium carbonate but on relatively long time-scales of hundreds of years. We bring a new focus on the impacts to cold water ecosystems, which appear to be even more sensitive to ocean acidification and on shorter time-scales of the next few decades."

Doney says the increased sensitivity is driven by two factors: organisms build shells out of
a more soluble form of calcium carbonate called aragonite, and the baseline (pre-industrial) water composition at high latitudes is already less conducive to building shells. "The key ecological role of many of  these organisms, which include planktonic mollusks called pteropods and cold-water corals, are just starting to be understood. And in large parts of the Southern Ocean, North Atlantic and North Pacific, they may disappear before the end of this century."

As atmospheric CO2 continues to rise, the projection is that by the end of this century the entire Southern Ocean and part of the North Pacific would become so corrosive that these organisms may not be able to grow their shells.  That has not happened for  millions of years, and the authors say the current rate of ocean acidification is unprecedented.

"Basic chemistry tells us that within decades there may be serious trouble brewing in the polar oceans," said James Orr, lead author and ocean modeler from the French Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement. "Unlike climate predictions, the uncertainties here are small."

As a complement to model projections, one of the study coauthors, Victoria Fabry from the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University San Marcos, set up two-day shipboard experiments and demonstrated how shells of live pteropods begin to dissolve when the corrosive conditions that are projected to occur by 2100 are met.  "Those results," Fabry says, "suggest that for subpolar and polar pteropods to survive, they will need either to adapt to the expected changes in seawater chemistry or move to warmer, lower-latitude surface waters,"

If populations of polar pteropods decline significantly, the researchers say that decline could provoke a chain reaction of events through complex ocean ecosystems.  Pteropods are eaten by organisms ranging in size from zooplankton to whales and provide part of the diet of  many fish, including commercially important species such as North Pacific salmon.

The material that makes up pteropod shells is aragonite, a common mineral form of calcium carbonate which is also secreted by other marine organisms to form external skeletal material.  Such organisms include varieties of stony corals that grow throughout the cold, dark recesses of the ocean. Unlike their better-known tropical cousins which grow in warm surface waters, these cold-water corals grow very slowly and can live to be hundreds of years old. Previous studies have already shown that ocean acidification will make tropical corals less able to build skeletal material, even before waters become corrosive. However, the cold-water corals will be the first to be bathed in waters that are actually corrosive to aragonite.

In recent years, human occupied and remotely controlled submersibles have begun to provide scientists with photographs of the beautiful skeletal structures of cold-water corals. These calcium carbonate skeletons are essential not only for their survival, but also for providing the habitats for diverse ecosystems, including deep-sea fish, eels, crabs, and sea urchins.

Cold-water corals are already threatened by open-ocean trawling for bottom fish.  Ocean acidification will add further pressure on cold-water corals, especially those made of aragonite.These corals are most abundant in the North Atlantic, where they form massive deep reefs. Unfortunately, North Atlantic polar and subpolar waters that now offer hospitable refuge down to depths of 3 kilometers, or  about  two miles, will become mostly corrosive by the end of the century due to the invasion of fossil fuel CO2.

Other marine organisms among the first to show signs of corrosion from ocean acidification are those that construct external skeletons out of another variety of calcium carbonate rich in magnesium.  These organisms include sea urchins and coralline algae, which are common on the Arctic and Antarctic sea floor.

This new study has demonstrated that cold polar surface waters will start to become corrosive to these calcifying organisms once the atmospheric CO2 level reaches about 600 parts per million. Although  that  number is 60% more than the current level, Doney and colleagues say it could be attained by the middle of this century and note there is now urgency for new research to respond to a much tougher question: To what extent will ocean acidification alter marine ecosystems and biodiversity?

For more information visit :
http://www.whoi.edu/mr/pr.do?id=7388