Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-6-2267-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
 
24 Feb 2009
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.
Calcification, a physiological process to be considered in the context of the whole organism
H. S. Findlay*,1, H. L. Wood*,1, M. A. Kendall1, J. I. Spicer2, R. J. Twitchett3, and S. Widdicombe1 1Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, West Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
2Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
3School of Earth, Ocean & Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Abstract. Marine organisms that produce calcium carbonate structures are predicted to be most vulnerable to a decline in oceanic pH (ocean acidification) based on the understanding that calcification rates will decrease as a result of changes in the seawater carbonate chemistry thereby reducing carbonate ion concentration (and associated saturation states). Coastal seas are critical components of the global carbon cycle yet little research has been conducted on acidification impacts on coastal benthic organisms. Here, a critical appraisal of calcification in six benthic species showed, contrary to popular predictions, calcification can increase, and not decrease, in acidified seawater. Measuring the changes in calcium in isolated calcium carbonate structure as well as structures from live animals exposed to acidified seawater allowed a comparison between a species' ability to calcify and the dissolution affects across decreasing levels of pH. Calcium carbonate production is dependant on the ability to increase calcification thus counteracting an increase in dissolution. Comparison with paleoecological studies of past high carbon dioxide (CO2) events presents a similar picture. This conclusion implies that calcification may not be the critical process impacted by ocean acidification; particularly as all species investigated displayed physiological trade offs including reduced metabolism, health, and behavioural responses, in association with this calcification upregulation, which possess as great a threat to survival as an inability to calcify.

Citation: Findlay, H. S., Wood, H. L., Kendall, M. A., Spicer, J. I., Twitchett, R. J., and Widdicombe, S.: Calcification, a physiological process to be considered in the context of the whole organism, Biogeosciences Discuss., 6, 2267-2284, https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-6-2267-2009, 2009.
H. S. Findlay et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
 
RC C207: 'Review Findlay et al.', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Apr 2009 Printer-friendly Version 
AC C391: 'Response to referees comments', Helen Findlay, 12 May 2009 Printer-friendly Version 
 
RC C256: 'Review of Findlay et al.', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Apr 2009 Printer-friendly Version 
AC C396: 'Response to referee', Helen Findlay, 12 May 2009 Printer-friendly Version 
H. S. Findlay et al.
H. S. Findlay et al.

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