Bernard Erasmus


Bernard Erasmus


 

Assessing heightened pCO2 on the early development of dusky kob, Argyrosomus japonicus.

Ocean acidification is one of the most concerning anthropogenically induced ecosystem transformations in history. Ocean acidification is largely attributed to increased absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the surface of the ocean, which is systematically altering ocean chemistry. Along with increasing pCO2 and decreasing pH, the availability of carbonate ions (CO32-), required in skeleton formation by marine organisms, is reduced. Juvenile organisms are considered especially vulnerable to the rapid rate at which these chemical changes are occurring. This may be attributed to their relatively large surface area to volume ratio and underdeveloped acid-base regulation system. Although there have been a number of studies assessing the impacts of ocean acidification on external calcifying organisms, few studies have assessed the effect of ocean acidification on internal calcifying organisms, such as fish. This projects aims to assess the impacts of heightened pCO2 on the early life development by focusing on the survival and growth rate and skeletal development and otolith development and gill histology of an estuarine dependant model species, the dusky kob, Argyrosomus japonicus.

Registered at: Rhodes University (Dept. Ichthyology and Fisheries Science)
Supervisors: Dr Warren Potts (DIFS), Dr Nikki James (SAIAB)