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Ecological & functional consequences of coastal ocean acidification: perspectives from the Baltic-Skagerrak system

Review article
Authors Jonathan N. Havenhand
Helena L. Filipsson
Susa Niiranen
Max Troell
Anne-Sophie Crépin
Sverker C. Jagers
David Langlet
Simon Matti
David R. Turner
Monica Winder
Pierre De Wit
Leif G Anderson
Published in Ambio
Volume 48
Issue 8
Pages 831–854
ISSN 0044-7447
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of marine sciences
Department of Law
Department of Political Science
Pages 831–854
Language en
Keywords Baltic; Ecosystem services; Eutrophication; Indirect effects; Ocean acidification; Warming
Subject categories Law and Society, Ecology, Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources, Climate Research, Chemical Sciences, Political Science


Ocean temperatures are rising; species are shifting poleward, and pH is falling (ocean acidification, OA). We summarise current understanding of OA in the brackish Baltic-Skagerrak System, focussing on the direct, indirect and interactive effects of OA with other anthropogenic drivers on marine biogeochemistry, organisms and ecosystems. Substantial recent advances reveal a pattern of stronger responses (positive or negative) of species than ecosystems, more positive responses at lower trophic levels and strong indirect interactions in food-webs. Common emergent themes were as follows: OA drives planktonic systems toward the microbial loop, reducing energy transfer to zooplankton and fish; and nutrient/food availability ameliorates negative impacts of OA. We identify several key areas for further research, notably the need for OA-relevant biogeochemical and ecosystem models, and understanding the ecological and evolutionary capacity of Baltic-Skagerrak ecosystems to respond to OA and other anthropogenic drivers.

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