It has been found that some forms of marine life are in great danger of extinction due to their sensitivity to higher temperatures.
As the oceanic environment warms up, many marine species of flora and fauna will be having a difficult time just surviving. Their sensitivity to the changes in temperature will ensure that they face a hard existence in the future, according to a new study.
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Thus biodiversity in the ocean will never be the same again. Many communities in the oceans are thriving on an interactive basis. They form food webs and each creature is unique in that it possesses an ecological niche.
A large proportion of these marine communities are already in a mode of living where they cannot take any more heat in the environment. Thus even two or three centigrades of higher temperatures would send them into a tailspin.
Meanwhile, there are others that are hardy and can survive the rising temperatures. Each species has built a cosy corner for itself in the delicately balanced oceanic milieu.
The study involves scientists from the Universities of Southampton (UK), Stockholm (Sweden) and Tasmania (Australia).
Scientists are learning about the levels of tolerance to heat of various of these marine communities. This way they can predict with accuracy where the most damage might occur and offset it by conservation methods in the nick of time.
Study co-author Dr Amanda Bates, from Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton, said, in a press release: “In 100 years from now, 100 per cent of species in many communities will be lost and replaced by new species able to tolerate warmer conditions, leading to a redistribution of species across the globe.”
Within a single century from now, 100% of the species within a locus of the marine environment will be replaced by more tougher species that will be able to withstand higher temperatures. This will off course not take place in a single day.
It will on the whole be a slow evolutionary process that gradually bit by bit replaces the weak with the strong. Thus the law of the jungle will play itself out and the struggle for existence will hold sway. In the end, the survival of the fittest is what it is all about.
Many species of fish among the coral reefs and underwater invertebrates have specific patterns of distribution. The thermal bias for these marine creatures is being calculated on a consistent basis.
The areas in the world where the surface sea temperatures are 24 degrees centigrade are most vulnerable. The reason behind this is that the species extant in the regions are already living at the limits of their tolerance levels.
They simply cannot take anymore heat even though it may be one or two degrees centigrade. Something will ultimately have to be done to save some of the species otherwise we are looking at a mass extinction of many beautiful life forms that are to be found in the oceans.
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The findings of this study are published in the journal Nature.