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Effect of Ocean acidification upon ability to genetically adapt in Nereis species - Essay Example

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This is because the ocean water absorbs the CO2 and forms carbonic acid. This causes an increase in H+ ions thus reducing pH value. This increase in pH affects the…
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Effect of Ocean acidification upon ability to genetically adapt in Nereis species
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"Effect of Ocean acidification upon ability to genetically adapt in Nereis species"

Download file to see previous pages This change affects the small marine organisms the most. The decrease in pH affects their physiological processes mainly their metabolic rates and oxygen intake processes. Calcifying species are also affected due to the decrease in CO32- ions, which are used in forming CaCO3. Due to these effects, the species have to adapt to these changes in order to counter the negative effects on their physiology. These changes may be phenotypic for short term or genotypic for long term. This paper investigates the effect of ocean acidity on the genetic makeup of the Nereis species (Australian Biological Resources Study, 2000, p.45).
Due to the increase in the ocean water acidity, the marine species have adapted to the change in pH. All the specimens have the same gene expression alterations when exposed to low pH. All the species experience phenotype plasticity when exposed to low pH levels. These effects can be determined by scientific methods. Species from the low pH region of Ischia have adapted to low pH (Armstrong, A. 2013, p593).
Six marine species were picked for the research namely; Polychaetes, Nerissuccinea, Nereisdiversicolor, Nereisvirens, Platyneiresdemerilli and Nereiszonata. The worms were collected from different areas. Some samples were from Ischia region, a place with low pH value due to CO2 vents. These samples were exposed to low pH value environments for short time and long-term durations. The control group was set in normal pH environment.
The pH value affects energy production processes in the specimens. With differences in pH, the individuals of the Nereis genus undergo some changes in energy production. The samples from the regions of low pH show the least changes, having adapted to low pH levels. All the specimens are affected by extremely low pH levels but the specimens from the vents show the most resilience since they have already adapted to low pH environs. This is because their metabolic activity is always heightened. The responses ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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