Research teams lead by GEOMAR deployed the KOSMOS mesocosms already twice in Norway’s Raunefjord near Bergen. In 2011, they concentrated on a tiny organism with great importance for the global climate: the single-celled calcifying alga Emiliania huxleyi.
In 2015, the participants of the field study identified winners and losers of ocean acidification in the plankton community. While Emiliania huxleyi and the sea butterfly Limacina retroversa suffered from chemical changes in their environment, Oikopleura dioica – a voracious gelatinous tunicate – benefits. Because the various members of the food web interact with each other in lots of ways, their reactions to ocean acidification can have far-reaching consequences.
Photo: Solvin Zankl