We are investigating the potential impacts of ocean acidification and eutrophication on bryozoans.
Marine bryozoans are comprised of zooids with calcium carbonate skeletons. Some zooids are modified for reproduction, others for defence and the majority for feeding.
The calcium carbonate skeletons of the individual zooids within a colony provide a record of how colonies invest in these different functions, and whether their skeletal integrity is altered by environmental change.
We focus on two areas:
Eutrophication is the addition of nutrients to a body of water. These events can be natural or man-made, as in the case of fertiliser run-off from farming, creating an influx of nitrates and phosphates.
Eutrophication can cause large blooms of organisms like algae that starve other organisms of oxygen and reduce light levels for aquatic plants.