Effects of Climate Change on Marine Organisms - WMU Professor Co-authors Important Study

World Maritime University (WMU) Professor, Dr Johan Hollander, has co-authored important research findings in a new article, “Responses of marine trophic levels to the combined effects of ocean acidification and warming,” published in the journal Nature Communications, April 2024 issue.

Trophic groups are categories of organisms within an ecosystem that share similar feeding habits or occupy the same position in the food chain. Organisms within the same trophic group typically consume similar types of food and share similar functions within an ecosystem. A trophic level is a position in the food chain or food web of an ecosystem. The study looks at human-induced stressors linked to ocean acidification and warming and their relative effect on different trophic levels of marine organisms. A meta-analysis of controlled experiments was conducted incorporating both ocean acidification and warming to examine their individual and combined impacts on marine life. 

Predators emerged as the most tolerant trophic level to both individual and combined effects. For interactive effects, calcifying and non-calcifying species showed similar patterns. Climate region-specific patterns are identified with interactive effects ranging from synergistic in temperate regions to compensatory in subtropical regions, to positive in tropical regions. The authors state that the findings “improve understanding of how ocean warming, and acidification affect marine trophic levels and highlight the need for deeper consideration of multiple stressors in conservation efforts.”

Professor Hollander, Nippon Foundation Chair of Sustainable Marine Management and Ocean Governance, was the Principal Investigator for the research said, “By exploring these novel research questions through meta-analyses, we can generate synthesized insights that are crucial for understanding the complex and multi-faceted impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. Such studies can guide effective management and conservation strategies, contributing to the resilience of marine biodiversity in the face of global climate change.”

To access the article click here. 

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