Tagged: dead zones

No Air: Should We Care? Examining Spirontocaris sica living in a hypoxic environment

E. MacLean \ Oceans First, Issue 2, 2015, pgs. 23-32.

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The increase of hypoxic zones in the oceans is jeopardizing marine ecosystems. Benthic ecosystems have shown to be particularly vulnerable to these zones. In this paper, the correlation between hypoxic oxygen levels and a benthic shrimp, Spirontocaris sica, was examined to understand how benthic organisms might adapt to hypoxia. Spirontocaris sica was studied in its naturally hypoxic environment, Saanich Inlet, BC. In an examination of the Spirontocaris sica population and oxygen levels over the period from October 2009 to October 2010, no correlation between the two variables was observed. These findings suggest that the Spirontocaris sica population is independent of oxygen levels. Possible explanations of this trend may be due to an abundant food source or an environmental factor causing abnormal dispersal. These other factors should be investigated in future studies as they have the potential to reactivate post-hypoxic ecosystems.

Effects of climate change on ocean dead zones

I. Hurley \ Oceans First, Issue 2, 2015, pgs. 17-22.

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Abstract: Over this century ocean dead zones are expected to dramatically increase in number. This paper reviews articles describing how climate change will impact ocean dead zones. These studies show that there are many aspects of climate change that affect dead zones. Primarily, an increase in temperature on dead zones, examined in depth in this review, will to lead to the expansion of dead zones through mechanisms such as stratification. Other aspects of climate change, such as changes in patterns of precipitation and changes in ocean circulation, will also affect ocean dead zones, though currently not enough research exists to say definitively how. Overall, the studies reviewed suggest that climate change will cause dead zones to spread globally.