{"@context":"https://schema.org","@graph":[{"@type":"Organization","@id":"https://reefs.com/#organization","name":"","url":"https://reefs.com/","sameAs":["https://www.facebook.com/reefscom","https://www.linkedin.com/company/reefs-com","http://www.youtube.com/c/Reefscom","https://www.pinterest.com/reefscom/","https://twitter.com/reefscom"]},{"@type":"WebSite","@id":"https://reefs.com/#website","url":"https://reefs.com/","name":"Reefs.com","publisher":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/#organization"},"potentialAction":{"@type":"SearchAction","target":"https://reefs.com/?s={search_term_string}","query-input":"required name=search_term_string"}},{"@type":"WebPage","@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/10/micro-reef-builders-in-their-final-century/#webpage","url":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/10/micro-reef-builders-in-their-final-century/","inLanguage":"en-US","name":"Micro Reef Builders in Their Final Century? - Reefs.com","isPartOf":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/#website"},"image":{"@type":"ImageObject","@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/10/micro-reef-builders-in-their-final-century/#primaryimage","url":"https://cdn.reefs.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8754Foraminifera-1.jpg","width":586,"height":315},"primaryImageOfPage":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/10/micro-reef-builders-in-their-final-century/#primaryimage"},"datePublished":"2013-06-10T15:30:01+00:00","dateModified":"2016-11-03T01:36:28+00:00","description":"Micro Reef Builders in Their Final Century? - Foraminifera “Star Sand,” Baculogypsina sphaerulata, greatly enlarged. Hatoma Island – Japan. Image: Psammophile. Most are smaller than a pinhead and are largely unseen by humans who don’t have a magnifying lens in hand, but foraminiferans or “forams” are found in countless numbers on the world’s reefs, often forming part of the matrix of sandy substrate that can fuse into hard areas of calcium carbonate. Amoeba-like organisms that typically secrete a calcium test or shell to protect their soft bodies, forams are estimated to generate some 43 million tons of reef carbonates each year. Their appearance varies tremendously over an estimated 275,000 species, most all marine bottomdwellers that measure less than 1 mm in diameter. Some species grow larger, including the Red Tree Foram,\u00a0Holotrema rubrum, which can hitchhike into reef aquaria on live rock (Shimek, 2004). Now marine scientists are fearful that the entire class of foraminiferans may be among the first group of organisms to disappear as ocean waters become more acidic.\u00a0In fact, forams as a class may be extinct by the year 2100 say a team of scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Dr. Sven Uthicke, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). \u201cForams\u2013or foraminifera \u2013are much like an amoeba with a shell,\u201d explains Dr. Sven Uthicke,\u00a0lead author of a study which was published in May in the journal Scientific Reports, an online journal of Nature. \u201cAs CO2 levels increase, our oceans will become more acidic, making it more difficult for these small marine creatures to form the shells they need to survive. \u201cThese simple organisms are vulnerable to increasing ocean acidification as they lack the complexity and energy reserves of other skeleton-based marine creatures, like corals and sea urchins,” says Uthicke. Volcanic Vents in New Guinea Provide Clues \u201cWe conducted a study in Papua New Guinea, where subsurface volcanic activity has caused naturally-occurring CO2 to continuously bubble up from the seabed. These \u201cCO2 seeps\u201d have created localised changes to seawater acidity similar to those expected throughout the world\u2019s oceans by the end of this century if CO2 emissions continue unabated. \u201cThese seeps provide important clues to what the marine world might look like in the future,\u201d he says. \u201cOur analysis of samples collected more than half a kilometre from these seeps revealed healthy and diverse communities of forams, similar to those you would find on the Great Barrier Reef. However, the samples we took closer to the seeps, where CO2 concentrations were higher, showed a very different picture. \u201cIn the high CO2 conditions closer to the seeps, the water was more acidic, and disturbingly the number and diversity of forams was significant lower. We also observed intermediate effects of acidification on forams such as corroded or \u2018pitted\u2019 shells. \u201cOf most concern, not one single species of foram was found in samples drawn from locations where conditions had already reached acidification levels predicted for our oceans by 2100 in all but the most optimistic emissions scenario.\u201d Mass Extinction Echos The results echo mass extinctions of marine organisms that occurred millions of years ago, when the Earth experienced significant increases in CO2, temperature or both. Although some forams were able to survive during these past events, the current rate of CO2 increase is much faster than anything seen before. Dr. Katharina Fabricius, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). \u201cIn previous studies at these seeps we looked at the response of other organisms, such as corals \u2013 we found similar if less dramatic results \u2013 many coral species were unable to grow in these increasingly acidic conditions,\u201d says Dr. Katharina Fabricius, a co-author of the present study. \u201cIn the grand scheme of things, the small and simple nature of forams might make them seem fairly unimportant compared to say, corals,” Dr. Fabricius continued. \u201cHowever, foram shells account for up to 40% of the composition of some cays and sandy sea beds of coral reefs \u2013 and these habitats are home to a significant number of coral reef species such as seabirds and turtles. \u201cOf course the long-term implications of any disappearance of forams from the reef are not certain and will require further investigation, but these findings do add to concerns regarding the health resilience of coral reefs if ocean acidification progresses as predicted under current CO2 emission scenarios. SOURCES From materials released by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, AIMS. The paper \u201cHigh risk of extinction of benthic foraminifera in this century due to ocean acidification\u201d by S. Uthicke, P. Momigliano and K. E. Fabricius appears in the Nature Publishing journal Scientific Reports. (http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130503/srep01769/full/srep01769.html)."},{"@type":"Article","@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/10/micro-reef-builders-in-their-final-century/#article","isPartOf":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/10/micro-reef-builders-in-their-final-century/#webpage"},"author":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/author/Reef-To-Rainforest/#author","name":"Reef To Rainforest"},"publisher":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/#organization"},"headline":"Micro Reef Builders in Their Final Century?","datePublished":"2013-06-10T15:30:01+00:00","dateModified":"2016-11-03T01:36:28+00:00","commentCount":0,"mainEntityOfPage":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/10/micro-reef-builders-in-their-final-century/#webpage","image":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/10/micro-reef-builders-in-their-final-century/#primaryimage"},"keywords":"reef aquaria","articleSection":"Corals,Events,Fish,Science"},{"@type":"Person","@id":"https://reefs.com/author/Reef-To-Rainforest/#author","name":"Reef To Rainforest","image":{"@type":"ImageObject","@id":"https://reefs.com/#personlogo","url":"https://cdn.reefs.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/d721reef-to-rainforest.jpg","caption":"Reef To Rainforest"},"description":"REEF to RAINFOREST MEDIA is an independent, award-winning publishing house based in Shelburne, Vermont founded in 2009. Reef to Rainforest publishes high-acclaimed magazines, digital content, and books for aquarists and underwater naturalists. CORAL is the world\u2019s leading marine aquarium magazine, read in English in more than 100 countries. Available in high-quality print and digital editions. AMAZONAS is the world\u2019s leading freshwater-only aquarium magazine. Both titles are originally published in German by Matthias Schmidt and Natur und Tier -Verlag, Meunster, Germany, and are now available in English in high-quality print and digital editions produced by Reef to Rainforest Media.","sameAs":[]}]}

Micro Reef Builders in Their Final Century?

Reef To RainforestBy Reef To Rainforest 6 years ago
Home  /  Corals  /  Micro Reef Builders in Their Final Century?

Foraminifera “Star Sand,” Baculogypsina sphaerulata, greatly enlarged. Hatoma Island – Japan. Image: Psammophile.

 Most are smaller than a pinhead and are largely unseen by humans who don’t have a magnifying lens in hand, but foraminiferans or “forams” are found in countless numbers on the world’s reefs, often forming part of the matrix of sandy substrate that can fuse into hard areas of calcium carbonate. Amoeba-like organisms that typically secrete a calcium test or shell to protect their soft bodies, forams are estimated to generate some 43 million tons of reef carbonates each year. Their appearance varies tremendously over an estimated 275,000 species, most all marine bottomdwellers that measure less than 1 mm in diameter. Some species grow larger, including the Red Tree Foram, Holotrema rubrum, which can hitchhike into reef aquaria on live rock (Shimek, 2004). Now marine scientists are fearful that the entire class of foraminiferans may be among the first group of organisms to disappear as ocean waters become more acidic. In fact, forams as a class may be extinct by the year 2100 say a team of scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Dr. Sven Uthicke, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). “Forams–or foraminifera –are much like an amoeba with a shell,” explains Dr. Sven Uthicke, lead author of a study which was published in May in the journal Scientific Reports, an online journal of Nature. “As CO2 levels increase, our oceans will become more acidic, making it more difficult for these small marine creatures to form the shells they need to survive. “These simple organisms are vulnerable to increasing ocean acidification as they lack the complexity and energy reserves of other skeleton-based marine creatures, like corals and sea urchins,” says Uthicke. Volcanic Vents in New Guinea Provide Clues “We conducted a study in Papua New Guinea, where subsurface volcanic activity has caused naturally-occurring CO2 to continuously bubble up from the seabed. These “CO2 seeps” have created localised changes to seawater acidity similar to those expected throughout the world’s oceans by the end of this century if CO2 emissions continue unabated. “These seeps provide important clues to what the marine world might look like in the future,” he says. “Our analysis of samples collected more than half a kilometre from these seeps revealed healthy and diverse communities of forams, similar to those you would find on the Great Barrier Reef. However, the samples we took closer to the seeps, where CO2 concentrations were higher, showed a very different picture MORE: Micro Reef Builders in Their Final Century?

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REEF to RAINFOREST MEDIA is an independent, award-winning publishing house based in Shelburne, Vermont founded in 2009. Reef to Rainforest publishes high-acclaimed magazines, digital content, and books for aquarists and underwater naturalists. CORAL is the world’s leading marine aquarium magazine, read in English in more than 100 countries. Available in high-quality print and digital editions. AMAZONAS is the world’s leading freshwater-only aquarium magazine. Both titles are originally published in German by Matthias Schmidt and Natur und Tier -Verlag, Meunster, Germany, and are now available in English in high-quality print and digital editions produced by Reef to Rainforest Media.

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