British Colombia Sea Sponges Present A Particular Adaptation To Ocean Warming

By , in Sci/Tech on . Tagged width: , ,

Ocean warming, as a consequence of climate change, is lowering the oxygen levels in the oceans, threatening the majority of the sea creatures. However, a study carried out on British Colombia sea sponges revealed that these organisms are showing a particular adaptation to ocean warming.

As reported by the researchers at the University of Alberta the so-called B.C. glass sponge uses very little oxygen in comparison with other sea sponge species in other parts of the world. And that’s so because this sponge adapted to ocean warming to survive.

“We tend to think of animals as like us, as basically needing a lot of oxygen. So it’s sort of surprising to think that something might not need that much,” explained Professor Sally Leys during the On The Coast, hosted by Jason D’Souza.

In a previous study issued in January this year, the scientists revealed that oxygen is disappearing from the oceans, threatening the majority of the sea creatures.

British Colombia Sea Sponges Present A Particular Adaptation To Ocean Warming

The leading causes behind this oxygen depletion in the seawater are agricultural and industrial pollution, but climate change is surpassing them as the primary risk factor for ocean warming.

On the other hand, the BC glass sponge species are unique as they form reefs as they grow and are only found off the Pacific Northwest coast. The ridges formed by these BC sea sponges species are usually spreading for kilometers and reach as much as 30 meters in height.

While other sea creatures might get killed eventually by ocean warming, a consequence of human-made climate change, the British Colombia sea sponges adapted to the harsh conditions of the global warming, such as the lower oxygen levels in the seawater.

“I would say that there’s a sort of glimmer of hope. Some of these [BC sea sponges] species could weather the storm,” Sally Leys concluded.