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Stressors in the Marine EnvironmentPhysiological and ecological responses; societal implications$
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Martin Solan and Nia Whiteley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718826

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718826.001.0001

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The ecological consequences of marine hypoxia: from behavioural to ecosystem responses

The ecological consequences of marine hypoxia: from behavioural to ecosystem responses

(p.175) Chapter 10 The ecological consequences of marine hypoxia: from behavioural to ecosystem responses
Stressors in the Marine Environment

Bettina Riedel

Robert Diaz

Rutger Rosenberg

Michael Stachowitsch

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the far-reaching consequences and ecological implications of hypoxia and anoxia (low/no oxygen), which have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with over 500 dead zones recorded worldwide. The focus is on coastal and estuarine ecosystems, which are increasingly at threat due to human impact and climate change. The contribution begins by discussing occurrences of and triggers for oxygen depletions, various definitions, thresholds, and types. It then presents responses to hypoxia/anoxia at various levels, i.e. the individual, population, community, and ecosystem levels. Examples illustrate the cascading effects, direct and indirect, of low dissolved oxygen triggering changes in behaviour, growth, recruitment, species diversity, biological interactions, trophic dynamics, community structure, and habitat complexity, ultimately threatening biodiversity and altering ecosystem structure and function. The chapter closes with a reflection on the interplay and synergy of multiple additional stressors increasingly being studied in combination with hypoxia such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S), higher temperatures, and/or lowered pH.

Keywords:   anoxia, oxygen depletion, cascading effects, biodiversity, hydrogen sulphide, temperature, pH

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