About the Benthic Acidification consortium
The overarching aim of this consortium (as part of the UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme) is to quantify, predict and communicate the impact of ocean acidification on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in three key UK coastal habitats; soft sediments, calcareous biogenic habitats (such as cold water coral reefs and maerl beds) and the rocky intertidal.
This consortium has six science objectives:
Quantify the impact of ocean acidification and warming on the health and activity of key benthic organisms
Assess the potential for organism adaptation to ocean acidification and warming
Quantify the impact of ocean acidification and warming on the biogeochemistry of marine benthic habitats
Quantify the impact of ocean acidification and warming on benthic microbial communities
Predict the impact of future CO2 scenarios on the population dynamics of benthic marine organisms
Predict the impact of future CO2 scenarios on the biodiversity and functioning of coastal habitats
This consortium brings together 25 key researchers from 12 UK organisations and will use laboratory experiments to determine the ways in which ocean acidification will change key physiological processes, organism behaviour, animal interactions, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The understanding gained will be used to build and run conceptual, statistical and numerical models, which will forecast the impact of future ocean pH scenarios on the biodiversity and function of coastal ecosystems. In addition to this the consortium will act as a focal point for UK ocean acidification research in this area, promoting communication between many different interested parties; UK and international scientists, policy makers, environmental managers, fisherman, conservationists, the media, students and the general public.
The consortium will also: assist the UK government (via Defra and DECC) in delivery of statutory obligations under national legislative drivers (e.g. UK Biodiversity Action Plan, UK Marine and Coastal Access Bill); provide information to aid the assessment process for the UK Regional Seas, via the UKMMAS Charting Progress III, in 2015 and the OSPAR Assessment Framework; and support the design and implementation of measures needed to achieve Good Environmental Status in UK Regional Seas.