Shellfish And Zooplankton Such As Foraminifera And Pteropods

1692 Words Jun 9th, 2016 7 Pages
shellfish and zooplankton such as foraminifera and pteropods. These organisms, especially zooplankton, are the base of the marine food chain, as they provide energy in the form of food for animals higher up the food chain. The levels of calcium carbonate, minerals that calcifying species use to build their exoskeleton, in the ocean are disturbed by the increased amounts of carbon dioxide that is being absorbed. This new absorption is causing some parts of the ocean to become unsaturated with this important compound, and therefore making them less available to the calcifying organisms that need them. Without these protective shells, organisms are unable to survive, leading to a rapid decrease in their populations.
Not only does this increase in ocean acidity result in shell degradation, but it has also been shown to breakdown existing coral reefs, as well as limit the building of new coral reef structures all over the planet. Corals, like calcifying species, rely on a steady supply of calcium carbonate in order to build and maintain it 's strong structures. This preventable destruction would not only be breaking down some of the most ancient ecosystems, but also some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Occupying less than one percent of the ocean floor, coral reefs are home to more than twenty-five percent of marine life. Thanks to their diversity, coral reefs provide millions of people with food, medicine, protection from storms, and revenue from fishing and…
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