Ocean acidification reverses competition for space as habitats degrade

McCormick, Mark I., Watson, Sue-Ann, and Munday, Philip L. (2013) Ocean acidification reverses competition for space as habitats degrade. Scientific Reports, 3. 3280. pp. 1-6.

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How marine communities are affected by CO₂-induced climate change depends on the ability of species to tolerate or adapt to the new conditions, and how the altered characteristics of species influence the outcomes of key processes, such as competition and predation. Our study examines how near future CO₂ levels may affect the interactions between two damselfish species known to compete for space, and the effects of declining habitat quality on these interactions. The two focal species differed in their tolerance to elevated CO₂, with the species that is competitively dominant under present day conditions being most affected. Field experiments showed that elevated CO₂ (945 µ atm) reversed the competitive outcome between the two species with mortal consequences, and this reversal was accentuated in degraded habitats. Understanding these complex interactions will be crucial to predicting the likely composition of future communities under ocean acidification and climate change.

Item ID: 31753
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0

Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CE0561432)
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2014 09:38
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 100%
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