Weeds take over kelp in high carbon dioxide oceans

Kelp image

Weedy plants will thrive and displace long-lived, ecologically valuable kelp forests under forecast ocean acidification, new research from the University of Adelaide shows.

Published in the journal Ecology, the researchers describe how kelp forests are displaced by weedy marine plants in high CO2 conditions, equivalent to those predicted for the turn of the century.

Carbon emissions will fuel the growth of small weedlike species, but not kelps – allowing weeds to take over large tracts of coastal habitats, the researchers say.

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Image credit: NRDC (CC by 2.0)

Tagged in Research, School of Biological Sciences, Marine Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Environment Institute