Climate change impacts on Caribbean calcifying algae: why it matters

Rising temperatures, ocean acidification and increased storm frequency are threatening coastal Caribbean ecosystems. An important group of organisms that may be particularly vulnerable to these changes are calcifying algae, including the fast growing and highly abundant Halimeda spp. Being one of the most dominant producers of carbonate sediment within shallow bays and lagoons of many tropical regions; including the Caribbean, there is much concern over the negative effects of climate change to Halimeda spp. and the resulting loss of carbonate sediment production. This could lead to a change in the physical structure and hydrodynamics of shallow bays and lagoons in tropical regions with major impacts on ecosystem functioning. Through long-term monitoring, field manipulation experiments and a series of mesocosm experiments, we hope to discover how climate change will affect Halimeda spp. of the Caribbean and how the region’s shallow bays and lagoons will be impacted. 


This news article was published in BioNews 22

BioNews is produced by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

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