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      Dynamic patterns and ecological impacts of declining ocean pH in a high-resolution multi-year dataset

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      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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          Abstract

          Increasing global concentrations of atmospheric CO(2) are predicted to decrease ocean pH, with potentially severe impacts on marine food webs, but empirical data documenting ocean pH over time are limited. In a high-resolution dataset spanning 8 years, pH at a north-temperate coastal site declined with increasing atmospheric CO(2) levels and varied substantially in response to biological processes and physical conditions that fluctuate over multiple time scales. Applying a method to link environmental change to species dynamics via multispecies Markov chain models reveals strong links between in situ benthic species dynamics and variation in ocean pH, with calcareous species generally performing more poorly than noncalcareous species in years with low pH. The models project the long-term consequences of these dynamic changes, which predict substantial shifts in the species dominating the habitat as a consequence of both direct effects of reduced calcification and indirect effects arising from the web of species interactions. Our results indicate that pH decline is proceeding at a more rapid rate than previously predicted in some areas, and that this decline has ecological consequences for near shore benthic ecosystems.

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          Competition, Disturbance, and Community Organization: The Provision and Subsequent Utilization of Space in a Rocky Intertidal Community

           Paul Dayton (1971)
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            Evidence for upwelling of corrosive "acidified" water onto the continental shelf.

            The absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into the ocean lowers the pH of the waters. This so-called ocean acidification could have important consequences for marine ecosystems. To better understand the extent of this ocean acidification in coastal waters, we conducted hydrographic surveys along the continental shelf of western North America from central Canada to northern Mexico. We observed seawater that is undersaturated with respect to aragonite upwelling onto large portions of the continental shelf, reaching depths of approximately 40 to 120 meters along most transect lines and all the way to the surface on one transect off northern California. Although seasonal upwelling of the undersaturated waters onto the shelf is a natural phenomenon in this region, the ocean uptake of anthropogenic CO2 has increased the areal extent of the affected area.
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              Intertidal Landscapes: Disturbance and the Dynamics of Pattern

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                December 02 2008
                December 02 2008
                November 24 2008
                December 02 2008
                : 105
                : 48
                : 18848-18853
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.0810079105
                2596240
                19033205
                a0f39d31-9de2-4663-9b46-d087519b678f
                © 2008
                Product

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