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Response of deep-sea ecosystems to climate change: limits to life

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 41913

  • Start date

    1 June 2007

  • End date

    31 May 2009

Funded under:

FP6-MOBILITY

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

United Kingdom

Objective

Concurrent changes in temperature (due to global warming), oxygen (due to eutrophication and stratification causing less oxygen export to the deep), and anthropogenic carbon dioxide; accumulation could interact in terms of their combined effect on marine ecosystems. Additional interest in such effects has arisen from recent plans to dispose of anthropogenic CO2 by introducing it into the ocean, especially the deep sea. Although some studies have investigated the relevance of each of these factors, no experimental studies have focused on their combined effects. In this context it will be essential to determine whether populations living in rather stable environments, i.e. the deep-sea, still have the adaptation potential to cope with these changes.

Physiological effects on the individual can potentially translate into changes in populations and entire communities. Within ABYSS we have the unique possibility to study temperature and pressure dependent life history adaptations and community patterns in deep-sea invertebrates using molecular, high-pressure and temperature-controlled (-10 to 100°C) facilities both at sea and at the host institution. This will allow doing experimental work on living deep-sea organisms from a variety of high-latitudinal and deep-sea habitats. We are investigating how marine organisms cope at a molecular, cellular and whole-organism level to environmental stress, in order to reveal their resilience potential to changes in the environment. In times of irreversible climate change predictions for the late 21st century, it is more than urgent to evaluate the impact of increased temperature and CO2 levels on marine ecosystems, which enable us to predicting the availability of marine resources from two thirds of our planet to future generations.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

Address

Highfield
Southampton

United Kingdom

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 41913

  • Start date

    1 June 2007

  • End date

    31 May 2009

Funded under:

FP6-MOBILITY

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

United Kingdom