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Climate Change: Effects on Salinity in Florida’s Estuaries and Responses of Oysters, Seagrass, and Other Animal and Plant Life

SG138/SGEF-218 by Ashley R. Smyth, H. Dail Laughinghouse, Laura K. Reynolds, Edward V. Camp, and Karl HavensApril 15, 2024Florida’s economically important estuaries could be heavily impacted by sea-level rise and altered river flow, both caused by climate change. The resulting higher salinity, or saltiness of the water, could harm plants and animals, alter fish, and bird habitat, and reduce the capacity of estuaries to provide such important services as seafood production and the protection of shorelines from erosion. This publication contains information for stakeholders, students, scientists, and environmental agencies interested in understanding how changes in salinity impact Florida’s estuaries.

Ocean Acidification: Effects on Sponges

FA263/FA263by Lena A. Donnarumma, Joseph Henry, Joshua Patterson, Shelly Krueger, Lisa Krimsky, and Shirley BakerJune 13, 2024Approximately 30% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere has been absorbed by the world’s oceans. As CO2 emissions increase due to human activities so does the amount of CO2 absorbed by the oceans. Carbon dioxide lowers the pH of the ocean system, causing ocean acidification (OA). The effects of OA on economically and ecologically important aquatic species is a subject of interest. Sponges are important reef-associated species that provide shelter for fish and crustaceans in reef habitats and can also structure ecosystems through bioerosion, water filtration, and colonization of coral reef areas. This publication considers the effects of OA on marine sponges, with a focus on Florida’s coral reef.  

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