Mote Marine Laboratory co-hosted the first International Workshop on Impacts of Ocean Acidification and Climate Change on Corals and Coral Reefs Dec. 6 through Dec. 10, with the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences (IUI) Eilat, Israel.
Held in Eilat, the workshop brought together participants from Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
During the workshop, participants conducted lab and field experiments with corals and associated life forms in the Red Sea to determine how ocean acidification and climate change could relate to various organisms.
“To our knowledge, no one has ever conducted such a comprehensive study with so many factors in the context of ocean acidification research,” said Dr. Erinn Muller, postdoctoral fellow at Mote, in a news release.
Scientists divvied up samples of corals and associated life forms that had been grown since October in IUI’s new ocean acidification facility, which simulates future ocean conditions using 80 controlled aquariums and a robot that monitors their water pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen, allowing scientists to monitor corals under varied levels of acidity, temperature and added nutrients.
“In a few days, we completed two major experiments that would normally have taken months,” Muller said.
Researchers are analyzing their findings and hope to publish them in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Partial support for the workshop was provided by the Mote-Israel Cooperative Marine Research Program, which is seeking funding support to host the second International Workshop on Ocean Acidification Impacts to Corals and Coral Reef Ecosystems in 2014, at Mote’s Tropical Research Laboratory in the Florida Keys.
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