Ocean acidification drives community shifts towards simplified non-calcified habitats in a subtropical−temperate transition zone
"Rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are causing surface seawater pH and carbonate ion concentrations to fall in a process known as ocean acidification. To assess the likely ecological effects of ocean acidification we compared intertidal and subtidal marine communities at increasing levels of pCO2 at recently discovered volcanic seeps off the Pacific coast of Japan (34° N). This study region is of particular interest for ocean acidification research as it has naturally low levels of surface seawater pCO2 (280–320 µatm) and is located at a transition zone between temperate and sub-tropical communities. [...]"
Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Sylvain Agostini et al.
Stratifying ocean sampling globally and with depth to account for environmental variability
"With increasing depth, the ocean is less sampled for physical, chemical and biological variables. Using the Global Marine Environmental Datasets (GMED) and Ecological Marine Units (EMUs), we show that spatial variation in environmental variables decreases with depth. This is also the case over temporal scales because seasonal change, surface weather conditions, and biological activity are highest in shallow depths. [...]"
Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Mark John Costello et al.
The effect of bio-irrigation by the polychaete Lanice conchilega on active denitrifiers: Distribution, diversity and composition of nosZ gene
"The presence of large densities of the piston-pumping polychaete Lanice conchilega can have important consequences for the functioning of marine sediments. It is considered both an allogenic and an autogenic ecosystem engineer, affecting spatial and temporal biogeochemical gradients (oxygen concentrations, oxygen penetration depth and nutrient concentrations) and physical properties (grain size) of marine sediments, which could affect functional properties of sediment-inhabiting microbial communities. [...]"
Authors: Maryam Yazdani Foshtomi et al.
Biodiversity surprises at bubbly deep-sea cold seeps along Cascadia fault
"A new study led by Oregon State University (OSU) graduate student Sarah Seabrook that uses scientific data and samples from Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) focuses on the extent, variability, and complexity of species—from microbes to tubeworms—found at deep-sea cold seep habitats along the Cascadia fault off the west coast of North America.
The study reports for the first time on the surprisingly rich and diverse microbial and animal communities at eight recently discovered cold seeps, comparing these new sites off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California with two known seeps off the coast of British Columbia at Barkley Canyon and Clayoquot Slope—both monitored by ONC's cabled offshore observatory. [...]"
U.N. Moved to Protect 60% of the Ocean and the World Hardly Noticed
"After years of talks, the U.N. has taken a major step toward an international treaty to preserve the biodiversity of the high seas to combat climate change, overfishing and plastic pollution.
[...] The move, which ended two weeks of sometimes contentious talks to hash out the major elements of the treaty, could result in far-reaching protections for marine life through the creation of reserves and other actions designed to blunt threats to ocean health from climate change, over-fishing and pollution. The high seas constitute the nearly 60 percent of the ocean beyond any nation’s jurisdiction. They play a crucial role in the global climate, food supply and economy, yet are largely beyond the reach of the law. [...]"