University of Adelaide researchers have published a study demonstrating how marine biodiversity changes due to climate change can sometimes go undetected.
In the study, the scientists found that in many cases, the current measurement metrics will show no change when some major ecological reorganization is taking place.
The researchers found that the current measurement systems are not granular enough to give a detailed picture of the changes and focus more on the bigger picture in response to climate change and ocean acidification.
According to Ivan Nagelkerken, a professor from the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute and Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories:
“The belief that climate change will alter global marine biodiversity is one of the most widely accepted…Commonly used biodiversity measures don’t pick up reorganisation of marine communities due to ocean acidification because new species replace species that are lost…Little or no biodiversity change is detected when one community of marine species is replaced by another even under significant habitat loss.”
While Professor Sean Connell, also from the same university, added:
“Experiments done in the laboratory are weak in detecting biodiversity change, so natural systems experiencing advanced ocean acidification are emerging as an innovative way of studying biodiversity responses… No ecological study, whether in the laboratory or field, can fully replicate the complex ecological interactions that exist in nature across the time and spatial scales of relevance to climate change.”
You can find the original study here.