Dr. Víctor Aguilera and Dr. Patricio Manríquez, representing CEAZA, were part of a scientific meeting organized by the Pedro Luis Gallo National University of Peru, where they presented the results of their recent research.
With special attention to the effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms and bio-geochemical cycles, the "5th International symposium on the ocean in a high CO2" was held in Lima, Peru, last September, an activity organized by the Pedro Luis Gallo National University, and which was attended by two researchers from CEAZA: Dr. Víctor Aguilera and Dr. Patricio Manríquez, who had the opportunity to present the details and results of their recent and present studies, and in addition, to share with the scientific community that joined the event.
Changes in marine chemistry on the north coast
During the event, Dr. Aguilera met with scientists from Slovenia, Peru, France and the United States to coordinate oceanographic observations off the coast of Coquimbo and Atacama, within the framework of the ANILLO ACT210071 project of the National Research and Development Agency. , ANID. Likewise, the researcher presented observations developed on the north coast of Chile, where the effect on the biological pump of changes in marine chemistry, product of the coastal upwelling and the El Niño event, was evaluated.
This biological pump, explains the researcher, is the process by which atmospheric CO2 enters the marine food web, not only to reduce the effect of global warming, but also to generate energy for other species in the ocean ecosystem such as fish, mammals you see.
“As a result of the changes in the chemistry of the ocean, the organisms in charge of the biological pump, such as phytoplankton and zooplankton, fix and transport less carbon”, clarifies Dr. Aguilera, also adding that “the El Niño event is characterized by high temperatures of the sea surface, which also changes the structure of these organisms and adds a new metabolic stress factor”.
Performance, distribution and abundance of locusts and sea urchins
For his part, Dr. Patricio Manríquez, CEAZA associate researcher, announced the results of the study "The combined effect of ocean acidification and temperature levels in the thermal niche of two species of invertebrates", which glimpsed the potential associated effects to the acidification of the oceans and changes in sea temperature, in the thermal performance of two species of invertebrates that play important ecological, economic and social roles on the coast of Chile: the loco (concholepas concholepas) and the hedgehog (loxechinus albus).
In this regard, the researcher comments that locusts and sea urchins are species that live almost exclusively on the coast of Chile. “Furthermore, in our maritorio, both species are among the main objectives of the management areas in the hands of artisanal fishermen. Consequently, the effects of stressors associated with climate change, such as changes in pH and sea temperature, can affect the performance, distribution and abundance of these species, and thus affect the services that these species provide to society. in terms of food," he adds.
According to this study, continues Dr. Manríquez, the effects of pH and temperatures that are predicted in climate change scenarios on the survival and growth of locusts and hedgehogs do not indicate negative effects on these traits. “However, the analysis of the effects on righting success suggests a reduction in the thermal niche of both species; that is, of the thermal space within which these species will be able to right themselves”, he adds.
Finally, the scientist projects that these results, together with oceanographic modeling at a local and regional scale of future changes in sea temperature, "will allow us to make predictions of how these species will potentially modify their distribution ranges throughout the coast of Chile in future climate change scenarios.
It is worth mentioning that this research was financed by an international cooperation project (CLIMAR, ELAC2015/T01-0495) in charge of this researcher and financed by ECLAC and ANID. However, the cost of the trip and an important part of Dr. Manríquez's stay in Lima was financed by funds from three Federal Agencies of the United States of America (NOAA, NASA and NSF).
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