Squids and ocean acidification

Jumbo_squidYet another species which may be vulnerable to ocean acidification: Humboldt squid. These giant creatures—they can grow up to seven feet long—dwell in the Pacific Ocean. They play a key role in the food chain, both as predators and as prey for fish and marine mammals.

Scientists from the University of Rhode Island report, in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that more acidic seawater may limit the squids’ ability to uptake oxygen from the deep waters where they feed. And their oxygen demands are among the highest for any animal.

Brad Seibel and Rui Rosa conducted the research. They "exposed the squids to concentrations of C02 equivalent to those projected to be in the ocean in about a century because of manmade emissions. The squids took in less oxygen from the high CO2 water and as a result, their activity levels declined about 45 percent. Warmer ocean temperatures, which are expected to rise as global temperatures do, also hold less oxygen, exacerbating the effect." The overall effect? To slow them down. And a slow squid is one more easily captured by predators.

Blogged by Beth Daly at Boston.com: read the rest of the article here.

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