The emergent effects of ocean acidification : linking individuals to ecosystems
- Ocean acidification represents a pervasive environmental change that could impact a wide range of species and cause extensive changes in marine ecosystems. An understanding of the potential emergent effects of acidification requires an integrated knowledge of the impacts on single species, species interactions, community structure, and ecosystem function. By using meta-analysis and field experiments in a naturally acidified ecosystem, this dissertation investigates how the responses of individual species to ocean acidification combine to affect the community and ecosystem. This research highlights the key role of species interactions in the emergent effects of ocean acidification. While meta-analyses underline the sensitivity of a wide range of species that build their shells or skeletons of calcium carbonate to acidification, field experiments in a naturally acidified ecosystem suggest that the loss or reduced abundance of the sensitive calcareous species in acidified conditions is compensated by an increased abundance of more tolerant species, resulting in an entire reorganization of the community. Analyses of succession patterns of the benthic rocky reef communities in the naturally acidified ecosystem suggest the reduced abundance of some calcareous species is linked to the increased abundance of fleshy seaweeds. While some calcareous species are able to recruit and grow at similar rates in non-acidified and acidified conditions during early stages of succession, their abundance is limited by the rapid growth of fleshy seaweeds in acidified conditions during the later stages of succession. Furthermore, analyses of recovery patterns suggest the role of calcareous herbivores is altered in acidified conditions. While recovery from disturbance in non-acidified conditions is highly variable and contingent on grazing by calcareous herbivores, the effects of grazing are not apparent in acidified conditions. Instead, recovery patterns in acidified conditions are canalized and consistently result in similar assemblages dominated by fleshy seaweed. Together, the results from this dissertation suggest ocean acidification causes a reorganization of a benthic rocky reef community, resulting in assemblages dominated by fleshy seaweeds with reduced diversity, invertebrate biomass, and trophic complexity. Furthermore, acidification affects the temporal and spatial dynamics of benthic rocky reef communities, leading to reduced habitat patchiness and diversity at the landscape scale.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Kroeker, Kristy Jean
|Stanford University, Department of Biology.
|Palumbi, Stephen R
|Palumbi, Stephen R
|Statement of responsibility
|Kristy J. Kroeker.
|Submitted to the Department of Biology.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2012.
- © 2012 by Kristy Jean Kroeker
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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