Two researchers from the University of Adelaide recently completed a meta-analysis of 632 peer-reviewed studies that established, in the authors’ words, “a conceptualization of biological change derived from quantitative analysis.”
This study built on its predecessors by examining how multiple stressors impact multiple species while ensuring that interspecific interactions and previously unaccounted for ecosystem processes were considered. Finally the authors assessed various species’ capacities for acclimation to the predicted conditions.
The results of the study suggest that warming and acidification exert effects both on their own and together to contribute to a world with simplified marine ecosystem structure. Organisms that do not need to produce calcified outer layers (non-calcifiers) fare better than calcifiers and microbes are the only organisms that are predicted to have any capability to adapt to predicted warming and acidification.