[Coral-List] fish are NOT friends

mikhail matz 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
fax 512-471-3878
web http://www.bio.utexas.edu/research/matz_lab

More information about the Coral-List mailing list