20 nov. 2014

Pollution and Climate Change Turning Canadian Lakes Into Jelly




A combination of industrial pollution and climate-change-driven oxygen loss is turning the great Canadian lakes into jelly, according to new research by Cambridge University scientists published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.



A "battle of the plankton" between two competing species, Holopedium and the planktonic Daphnia, has been taking place in the delicate ecosystem of the lakes; however, calcium depletion in the lakes is making survival difficult for Daphnia, which require the mineral to form a vital component of their exoskeleton defending them from predators, and consequently populations of Holopedium have doubled since the 1980s. Without the presence of Daphnia, algae is multiplying and providing an unlimited food source for its competitor.



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