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滨蟹闻不到气味和我们有什么关系?

(2016-07-14 08:36:10)
分类: 环境与能源

气候变化正在影响着海洋和生活在其中的动物。

新的研究结果显示,空气中增加的二氧化碳正在改变海洋的化学结构,使一些动物难以利用嗅觉找到猎物并识别其他动物。

英国赫尔大学(University of Hull)的一名首席研究员克里斯蒂娜·洛戈茨(Christina Roggatz)对这个问题进行了研究,她说:“想象你是一只小螃蟹,住在布满大石头、深潭并受潮汐和海浪冲击的海岸上。唯一能找到你的午餐食物的办法将是从远处闻到它的味道。“

她说,如果因为较高的二氧化碳(CO2)水平,海洋生物失去利用嗅觉来寻找食物、躲避天敌以及交配的能力,“这将类似于我们人类生活在没有光或声的世界中”。

海洋中的变化可能会影响到全世界依靠海洋作为他们的主要蛋白质来源的十亿人口。

海洋酸化

海洋吸收人类产出的二氧化碳,二氧化碳产生碳酸,进而改变海洋的化学结构。今天的海洋酸性比200年前高30%。研究人员估计,到2100年,酸性将比现在高150%。

洛戈茨说,在这种环境下,海岸螃蟹不能收到化学信号去保护自己的幼卵。依赖同样的“气味”来孵化、寻找掩体及生存的虾、藤壶、牡蛎和其他生物也将受到影响。

海洋酸化也会导致其他问题。它可以溶解贝类如牡蛎和蛤蜊的钙,以及珊瑚的骨骼。珊瑚礁约占海床总面积的1%,支持着四分之一的海洋生物的生存。

根据加州大学戴维斯分校(University of California, Davis)的另一项研究,海洋酸化也使海螺更难以逃脱它们的天敌海星。

每个人都可以帮助保护海洋生物,有时还能采取新颖的方式。例如,冲浪者可以使用一种可拆卸的冲浪“智能舵”(Smartfin),来收集近海酸度和其他测量数据,以便填补一个关键的数据空白。


Why should we care if shore crabs can’t smell?

Climate change is affecting the ocean and the animals in it.

The increase of carbon dioxide in the air is altering the chemistry of the ocean, making it harder for some animals to use smell to find prey and identify other animals, new studies show.

“Imagine you are a little crab, living on a shore with large rocks, deep pools and battled by tides and waves. The only way to find your lunchtime snack would be to smell it from a distance,” said Christina Roggatz, a lead researcher at the University of Hull in England, which has studied the problem.

If ocean creatures lose the ability to use smell to find food, avoid predators and mate because of higher CO2 levels, “it would be comparable to a world without light or sound for us humans,” she said.

Changes in the ocean could affect the 1 billion people around the world who rely on it for their primary source of protein.

Ocean acidification

The ocean absorbs human-generated carbon dioxide, which produces carbonic acid that changes ocean chemistry. Today’s ocean is 30 percent more acidic than the ocean was 200 years ago. Researchers estimate that by 2100 it could be 150 percent more acidic than today.

In that environment, shore crabs would not receive chemical signals to protect their eggs, according to Roggatz. Shrimp, barnacles, oysters and other creatures that depend on the same “smells” to hatch, find shelter and survive would also suffer.

Ocean acidification causes other problems, too. It can dissolve the calcium of shellfish such as oysters and clams, as well as the skeletons of coral. Coral reefs, which make up about 1 percent of the ocean floor, support an estimated one-fourth of all marine life.

Ocean acidification also makes it harder for sea snails to escape from their sea star predators, according to a second study from the University of California, Davis.

Everyone can help protect marine creatures, sometimes in innovative ways. For instance, surfers can use a Smartfin, a detachable surfing fin that collects data on near-shore acidity and other measurements, to fill a critical data gap.

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