The negative impact of climate change on freshwater bodiesJanuary 12, 2018
Oceans are not the only bodies of water that acidify due to man-made climate change; freshwater systems are likewise affected - and this, in turn, could have an impact on the organisms living in them. This is the conclusion drawn by biologists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum following an analysis of long-term data from a number of freswhater reservoirs across Germany and controlled lab experiments with freshwater organisms. The results are published by the team headed by Dr Linda Weiss, Leonie Pötter and Prof Dr Ralph Tollrian from the Department of Animal Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity in Bochum in the journal Current Biology on 22h of January 2018, which is already available online.
"The acidification of the oceans is often referred to as the evil twin of climate change," says Weiss. "The negative impact of rising carbon dioxide levels on marine ecosystems has been proved in numerous studies to date, whereas hardly any research has been conducted in freshwater systems. Our study has demonstrated that the acidification of lakes is a real problem."
CO2 levels in four river dams analysed over a period of 35 years
The team from Bochum analysed data collected at four river dams in Germany that supply drinking water and are monitored once a month. The water management association "Ruhrverband" supplied measurement data from 1981 to 2015. Data gathered before 1999 were available only in hard copy and were digitalised by Leonie Pötter and three student volunteers over a period of several days.
The analysis showed that the CO2 levels in reservoirs had been continuously increasing and the pH value had been reduced by 0.01 on average per annum. In order to assess the ecological consequences of this change, the Bochum-based biologists investigated in what way the changed environmental conditions affect a key species in freshwater ecosystems. They worked with daphnia, also called water fleas, which are the food source for many other organisms.
Reaction to predators analysed
Daphnia form a number of different defence mechanisms in the presence of predators; they might, for example, change their shape or grow small thorns around their neck. The daphnia's respective reaction is predator specific. The water fleas identify their predators by smelling their chemical signals, so to speak, and form appropriate defence mechanisms. This tactic ensures long-term survival of the population.
The researchers studied two daphnia species in three separate culture media that differed in terms of CO2 levels in water. To some of the daphnia samples, they added chemical signals that the water fleas typically use to detect the presence of predators: namely substances released by Chaoborus larvae and a water bug of the Notonecta species. Subsequently, they recorded in what way the daphnia reacted to the chemical signals under different CO2 conditions.
Increased CO2 levels inhibit defence mechanisms
The results were the same for both species, Daphnia pulex and Daphnia longicephala: the higher the CO2 concentration in the culture medium, the weaker the formation of the daphnia's defence mechanisms. This is presumably because the increased CO2 levels interfere with the water fleas' sense of smell; in water with higher CO2 concentrations, their ability to detect the chemical signals of predators and, consequently, of their presence was impaired.
"Many freshwater organisms rely on their sense of smell," explains Linda Weiss. "If that sense is compromised in other species too due to rising CO2 levels, this development might have far-reaching consequences for the entire ecosystem. Follow-up studies must now be carried out, in order to determine if the acidification of freshwater systems is a global phenomenon and in what way other species react to rising CO2 levels."
Linda Weiss was financed by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, co-author Leonie Pötter by the German Federal Environmental Foundation.
Linda Weiss, Leonie Pötter, Annika Steiger, Sebastian Kruppert, Uwe Frost, Ralph Tollrian: Rising pCO2 in freshwater ecosystems has the potential to negatively affect predator induced defenses in Daphnia, in: Current Biology, 2018, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.022, http://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdfExtended/S0960-9822(17)31655-X
Dr Linda Weiss
Department of Animal Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity
Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology
Phone: +49 234 32 25072
Related Climate Change Articles:
Silver and Douglas firs could replace Norway spruce in the long run due to their greater resistance to droughts.
A highly granular assessment of the impacts of climate change on the US economy suggests that each 1°Celsius increase in temperature will cost 1.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product, on average.
A new Cornell University study finds that labels matter when it comes to acceptance of climate science.
A new four-step 'framework' aims to test the contribution of climate change to record-setting extreme weather events.
Accurately modeling climate change and interactive human factors -- including inequality, consumption, and population -- is essential for the effective science-based policies and measures needed to benefit and sustain current and future generations.
Climate change can have a different impact on male and female fish, shellfish and other marine animals, with widespread implications for the future of marine life and the production of seafood.
A new University of Washington study finds that one of Alaska's most abundant freshwater fish species is altering its breeding patterns in response to climate change, which could impact the ecology of northern lakes that already acutely feel the effects of a changing climate.
Climate engineering refers to the systematic, large-scale modification of the environment using various climate intervention techniques.
There are gaping divisions in Americans' views across every dimension of the climate debate, including causes and cures for climate change and trust in climate scientists and their research, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
In a new thesis in psychology, Kirsti Jylhä at Uppsala University has studied the psychology behind climate change denial.
Related Climate Change Reading:
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change (The Politically Incorrect Guides)
by Marc Morano (Author)
Less freedom. More regulation. Higher costs. Make no mistake: those are the surefire consequences of the modern global warming campaign waged by political and cultural elites, who have long ago abandoned fact-based science for dramatic fearmongering in order to push increased central planning. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change gives a voice -- backed by statistics, real-life stories, and incontrovertible evidence -- to the millions of "deplorable" Americans skeptical about the multibillion dollar "climate change" complex, whose claims have time and time again been... View Details
Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know®
by Joseph Romm (Author)
Climate change will have a bigger impact on humanity than the Internet has had. The last decade's spate of superstorms, wildfires, heat waves, and droughts has accelerated the public discourse on this topic and lent credence to climatologist Lonnie Thomson's 2010 statement that climate change "represents a clear and present danger to civilization." In June 2015, the Pope declared that action on climate change is a moral issue.
This book offers the most up-to-date examination of climate change's foundational science, its implications for our future, and the core clean energy solutions.... View Details
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
by Naomi Klein (Author)
The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core “free market” ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.
In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option.
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and... View Details
A Global Warming Primer: Answering Your Questions About The Science, The Consequences, and The Solutions
by Jeffrey Bennett (Author)
2017 NSTA, Outstanding Science Trade Books
2017 Children's Book Council, Best STEM Books
Nautilus Book Award, Silver, Ecology and Environment
Is human-induced global warming a real threat to our future? Most people will express an opinion on this question, but relatively few can back their opinions with solid evidence. Many times we’ve even heard pundits say “I am not a scientist” to avoid the issue altogether. But the truth is, the basic science is not that difficult. Using a question and answer format, this book will help readers achieve three major... View Details
The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change
by Robert Henson (Author)
Everybody can be a thinking person when it comes to climate change, and this book is a perfect roadmap. Start a web search for “climate change” and the first three suggestions are “facts,” “news,” and “hoax.” The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change is rooted in the first, up to date on the second, and anything but the last. Produced by one of the most venerable atmospheric science organizations, it is a must-read for anyone looking for the full story on climate change.
Using global research and written with nonscientists in mind, the Guide... View Details
Climate Change: What the Science Tells Us
by Charles Fletcher (Author)
Fletcher's 1st edition of "Climate Change: What the Science Tells Us" places strong emphasis on the peer-reviewed literature in reporting the impacts of climate change on the ocean, terrestrial ecosystems, the water cycle, human communities, dangerous weather patterns, and potential future Earth systems. The book offers detailed discussion of greenhouse gases, oceanic and atmospheric processes, Pleistocene and Holocene paleoclimate, the human fingerprints of climate change, modeling climate, sea level rise, climate impacts on economic sectors, and dangerous weather patterns associated... View Details
Climate Change: The Facts
by J.Abbot (Author), J.S. Armstrong (Author), A.Bolt (Author), R.Carter (Author), R.Darwall (Author), J.Delingpole (Author), C.Essex (Author), S.Franks (Author), K.Green (Author), D.Laframboise (Author), N.Lawson (Author), B.Lewin (Author), R.Lindzen (Author), J.Marohasy (Author), R.McKitrick (Author), P.Michaels (Author), A.Moran (Author), J.Nova (Author), G.Paltridge (Author), I.Plimer (Author), W.Soon (Author), M.Steyn (Author), A.Watts (Author), Alan Moran (Editor)
Tirelessly promoted by princes, presidents, actors and activists, "climate change" has become a dominant theme of global politics. But what's really going on as the "pause" in global warming prepares to enter its third decade? In this new anthology, leading scientists and commentators from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia consider the climate from every angle - the science, the policy and the politics. View Details
Dire Predictions, 2nd Edition: Understanding Climate Change
by Michael E. Mann (Author), Lee R. Kump (Author)
Explore global warming with graphics, illustrations, and charts that separate climate change fact from fiction, presenting the truth about global warming in a way that's both accurate and easy to understand. Respected climate scientists Michael E. Mann and Lee R. Kump address important questions about global warming and climate change, diving into the information documented by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and breaking it down into clear graphics that explain complex climate questions in simple illustrations that present the truth of the global warming problem clearly.... View Details
Climate Change: The Facts 2017
by Jennifer Marohasy (Editor)
Climate Change: The Facts 2017 contains 22 essays by internationally-renowned experts and commentators, including Dr Bjorn Lomborg, Dr Matt Ridley, Professor Peter Ridd, Dr Willie Soon, Dr Ian Plimer, Dr Roy Spencer, and literary giant Clive James. The volume is edited by Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs. Fourteen of the contributors currently hold or have held positions at a university or a scientific research organisation.
Dr Jennifer Marohasy said, "Climate Change: The Facts 2017 presents the case for climate change policies... View Details
Introduction to Modern Climate Change
by Andrew Dessler (Author)
This is an invaluable textbook for any introductory survey course on the science and policy of climate change, for both non-science majors and introductory science students. The second edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect the most recent science from the latest IPCC reports, and many illustrations include new data. The new edition also reflects advances in the political debate over climate change. Unique amongst textbooks on climate change, it combines an introduction to the science with an introduction to economic and policy issues, and is tightly focused on anthropogenic climate... View Details