Pink Salmon At Risk Due To Freshwater And Ocean Acidification

Posted: Jun 30 2015, 5:49am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Pink Salmon at Risk due to Freshwater and Ocean Acidification
Photo: Michelle Ou
  • Acidification of Bodies of Water Hinders Development of Pink Salmon

It has been discovered that the acidification of bodies of water hinders the development of pink salmon. This discovery is of great significance since now measures could be taken to keep the water bodies free of any pollution.

Pink salmon that start out their existence in freshwater with lots of carbon dioxide in it may have stunted growth. In fact, some of them may even die off thanks to the acidification. While ocean acidification has been examined closely, the effects of acidification on freshwater has not been the subject of extensive research.

At least 40% of fish species are of the freshwater variety. The impact of carbon dioxide on freshwater fish is a controversial area that needs a thorough appraisal.

It has been found to the dismay of the scientists that freshwater pink salmon are tinier and their sense of olfaction withered under conditions of an acidified freshwater environment. Something about the transformed freshwater causes the salmon to lose many of its abilities that are vital to its survival.

The sense of smell and size are both necessary for the pink salmon in its life cycle. The pink salmon needs to be able to sense any hazardous factors in the environment and also to make it to the spawning regions. But when the acidification of the freshwater takes hold, these salmon grow up into incomplete fish.

A century from now, the very existence of pink salmon can be threatened down to the last individual fish left on the planet. This spells dire consequences for the environment since all creatures are linked with each other in food webs and once you upset the ecological balance, you spread chaos on earth.

Pink salmon need to be able to travel in their particular path to be able to reproduce and they also need to avoid those species higher than them on the food ladder. Finally, the requirement of nutrition is also a very important part of the creature’s existence.

But with man-made degradation of the seawater these gentle fish cannot make it out alive from this conundrum. And while the carbon dioxide levels in water are small, the developing pink salmon which are just babies will be adversely affected by even such small doses of the pollution.

It may all boil down to the hypersensitivity of these freshwater fish. But seeing the importance of these creatures as a part of the natural habitat, mankind ought to take an interest in their survival.

University of British Columbia researchers conduct this study that was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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