UH Researcher Discerns Why Corals Struggle in Increasingly Acidic Seas
Source: The Honolulu Star Advertiser
August 29, 2011
"A University of Hawaii researcher has come up with a new explanation for how acidification of the ocean disrupts coral growth.
Higher acidity interferes with the transfer of hydrogen ions, or protons, between the seawater and the coral tissue, which ultimately disrupts the coral's ability to create a skeleton, says Paul Jokiel of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.
In his "proton flux hypothesis," Jokiel contends that the calcification of coral skeletons is dependent on the passage of hydrogen ions between the water and the coral tissue. Lowered calcification rates create weakened coral skeletons, leaving them susceptible to breakage, and decreasing protection, he says."
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