08. November 2012 BIOACID Members Meet in Kiel for the “Kick-off”

Second Phase of German Research Project on Ocean Acidification Begins

How do marine biocenoses react to increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the water? Which effect does the change in the ecosystem have on the exchange of substances in the sea? Which consequences must the economy and society expect? Within the BIOACID (Biological Impact of Ocean Acidification) project, over a hundred scientists are examining the effects of ocean acidification.


At the recent two day “Kick-off Meeting” in Kiel, the planned research activities of the project were coordinated and the connection between the research groups strengthened.

“In the second phase, BIOACID will study the complete chain from the fundamental biological mechanisms, to the reaction of single organisms, up to the consequences for the complete ecosystem and for us humans” announces Ulf Riebesell, professor for biological oceanography at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. Under his direction, 14 German institutes came together in September 2009 to answer the most urgent questions about ocean acidification. The second phase began in September 2012 and will last three years. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the work with 8.77 million Euros.

Various open-sea and laboratory experiments aim to show how biocenoses react when important key species are damaged by ocean acidification and how high their long term adaptation potential is. The focus lies especially on the interaction between different stress factors, such as ocean acidification, temperature rise, overfertilisation and decrease in oxygen levels. In this combination, the factors can cause stronger reactions than the sum of the single reactions.

Economists and sociologists from Kiel University and University Bremen have now also joined BIOACID. “As important ocean “services” we have chosen fisheries and carbon dioxide absorption” explains Riebesell. “With these examples we want to portray how ocean acidification affects the economy.” Besides simulations and calculations, empirical investigations are planned as well: A group of experts will present different future scenarios to fishermen and representatives of the fisheries market and together discuss approaches for improved fisheries management.

 “Many scientific and organisational questions have been answered during the “Kick-off” and work can now begin” says Riebesell happily. “First experiments will begin already this month. A five moth long study with the mesocosms in Kiel will begin in January. Thus we can expect new, important insights on the effects of ocean change on biocenoses in the sea soon.”

www.bioacid.de BIOACID-Homepage


Prof. Dr. Ulf Riebesell (GEOMAR, FB2-BI), Tel.: 0431 600-4444

Maike Nicolai (GEOMAR Kommunikation & Medien) Tel.: 0431 600-2807