Physiological advantages of dwarfing in surviving extinctions in high-CO2 oceans

Marco Milazzo, Daniela Parrinello, Riccardo Rodolfo-Metalpa, Danilo Scuderi, Samuel P. S. Rastrick, Richard J. Twitchett, Andy Foggo, Jason M. Hall-Spencer, Vittorio Garilli, Lorenzo Brusca

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

72 Citazioni (Scopus)


Excessive CO 2 in the present-day ocean-atmosphere system is causing ocean acidification, and is likely to cause a severe biodiversity decline in the future, mirroring effects in many past mass extinctions. Fossil records demonstrate that organisms surviving such events were often smaller than those before, a phenomenon called the Lilliput effect. Here, we show that two gastropod species adapted to acidified seawater at shallow-water CO 2 seeps were smaller than those found in normal pH conditions and had higher mass-specific energy consumption but significantly lower whole-animal metabolic energy demand. These physiological changes allowed the animals to maintain calcification and to partially repair shell dissolution. These observations of the long-term chronic effects of increased CO 2 levels forewarn of changes we can expect in marine ecosystems as CO 2 emissions continue to rise unchecked, and support the hypothesis that ocean acidification contributed to past extinction events. The ability to adapt through dwarfing can confer physiological advantages as the rate of CO 2 emissions continues to increase.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)678-682
Numero di pagine5
RivistaNature Climate Change
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.3300.3301???


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