Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-286
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-286
15 Feb 2024
 | 15 Feb 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Viability of coastal fish larvae under ocean alkalinity enhancement: from organisms to communities

Silvan Urs Goldenberg, Ulf Riebesell, Daniel Brüggemann, Gregor Börner, Michael Sswat, Arild Folkvord, Maria Couret, Synne Spjelkavik, Nicolás Sánchez, Cornelia Jaspers, and Marta Moyano

Abstract. Ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE) stands as a promising carbon dioxide removal technology. Yet, this solution to climate change entails shifts in water chemistry with unknown consequences for marine fish that are critical to ecosystem health and food security. With a laboratory and mesocosm experiment, we show that early life stages of fish can be resistant to OAE. We examined metabolic rate, swimming behavior, growth and survival in Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) and other temperate coastal fish species. Neither direct physiological nor indirect food web-mediated impacts of OAE were apparent. This was despite non-CO2-equilibrated OAE (ΔTA = +600 µmol kg-1) that induces strong perturbations (ΔpH = +0.7, pCO2 = 75 µatm) compared to alternative deployment scenarios. Whilst our results give cause for optimism regarding the large-scale application of OAE, other life history stages (embryos) and habitats (open ocean) may prove more vulnerable. Still, our study across ecological scales (organism to community) and exposure times (short- to long-term) suggests that some fish populations, including key fisheries species, may be resilient to the carbonate chemistry changes under OAE.

Silvan Urs Goldenberg, Ulf Riebesell, Daniel Brüggemann, Gregor Börner, Michael Sswat, Arild Folkvord, Maria Couret, Synne Spjelkavik, Nicolás Sánchez, Cornelia Jaspers, and Marta Moyano

Status: open (until 04 May 2024)

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Silvan Urs Goldenberg, Ulf Riebesell, Daniel Brüggemann, Gregor Börner, Michael Sswat, Arild Folkvord, Maria Couret, Synne Spjelkavik, Nicolás Sánchez, Cornelia Jaspers, and Marta Moyano
Silvan Urs Goldenberg, Ulf Riebesell, Daniel Brüggemann, Gregor Börner, Michael Sswat, Arild Folkvord, Maria Couret, Synne Spjelkavik, Nicolás Sánchez, Cornelia Jaspers, and Marta Moyano

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Short summary
Ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE) is being evaluated as carbon dioxide removal technology for climate change mitigation. With experiments on single species and species communities, we show that fish larvae can be resilient to the resulting perturbation of seawater. Larvae may hence recruit successfully and continue to support fisheries production in regions of OAE. Our findings for fish and marine food webs help to establish an environmentally safe operating space for this ocean-based solution.