[Coral-List] fish are NOT friends
matz at mail.utexas.edu
Tue Jan 20 12:03:31 EST 2009
Colleagues, please correct me if I am wrong:
The recent report by Wilson et al in Science (323:359-362, 2009)
suggests that fish exacerbate (rather than mitigate) the problem of
acidification of the surface waters by essentially stripping the
protons off the bicarbonate and excreting them into the water through
gills, while the generated calcium carbonate sinks and either
dissolves in the deeper water (>500m) or gets buried in the sediment
if the fish are in the shallows. They say that this process may lead
to the previously unexplained alkalization of waters at 500 m - which
in my mind implies that the surface waters must get correspondingly
acidified, just like being titrated with HCl.
Moreover, Wilson et al predict that this process will be intensified
as global CO2 rises.
Bad news for coral reefs?...
Mikhail V. Matz
University of Texas at Austin
Integrative Biology Section
1 University station C0930
Austin, TX 78712
phone 512-992-8086 cell, 512-475-6424 lab
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