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Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781337408332

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781337408332
Chapter 24, Problem 2CT
Textbook Problem
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A rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide increases ocean acidity, making it harder for animals to build calcium carbonate parts. List some invertebrate animals that increased ocean acidity could harm in this way.

Summary Introduction

To explain: Invertebrate animals that can be harmed when ocean’s acidity increases.

Concept introduction: Invertebrates are animals that lack notochord. The invertebrate animals have an exoskeleton different from that of chordates that are made of scales, fur, hairs and feathers. Global warming increases the carbon dioxide levels of the atmosphere that in turn increases the acidity of the ocean.

Explanation of Solution

Ocean absorbs the atmospheric gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. When excess carbon dioxide gets dissolved in water, they form carbonic acid. Carbonic acid increases the acidity of the ocean. The carbonic acid erodes the exoskeleton of several aquatic organisms. The severely affected aquatic animals are the invertebrates whose exoskeleton is made of calcium carbonate.

The groups of animals called as pteropods under Phylum: Mollusca are small sea snails that are prey to several other large aquatic predators. The pteropods are critical to the arctic food web. Increasing concentration of carbonic acid dissolves the exoskeleton of these pteropods made of calcium carbonate thus threatening the entire artic food web predators dependent on it...

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