Climate-driven changes in upwelling, ocean mixing, oxygen minimum zones, and nutrient cycling are likely to affect the year-to-year variation in ocean ecosystem processes. These changes will potentially impact marine life and the fundamental underpinnings of fisheries from shallow to deep-sea habitats. MBARI’s technical achievements and knowledge are transforming climate change research with novel methods and technologies.
Rockfish tolerance of CO2 levels vary between species
A study conducted in MBARI’s state-of-the-art seawater laboratory determined that some species of juvenile rockfish find it harder to exert themselves in acidified seawater, but other species are more adaptable. Researchers found that copper rockfish raised in water with high concentrations of carbon dioxide swam slower and had a harder time exerting themselves than those raised in “normal” seawater. Blue rockfish, however, showed no significant behavioral or physiological effects under the same conditions.
“There is not a one-size-fits-all response among this closely related group of fishes. There will be winners and losers,” said Cheryl Logan, assistant professor at California State University, Monterey Bay. If some types of rockfish become more numerous and others disappear, this is likely to have ripple effects on other animals in Monterey Bay, as well as potentially negative effects on coastal fisheries and communities.