the fish Those who live in the dark part of the oceans, that is, where the sunlight does not reach, to a depth of less than 200 meters, will see reduced their sizes Due to the high temperature of the water, which will have important environmental consequences.
This is stated in a study conducted by the University of Vienna (Austria), in which the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) in Barcelona (Spain) participated and published on January 12 in the journal. Proceedings of the Royal Society b.
To conduct this study, marine biologists recovered dust – Tiny structures in the inner ear of bony fishes that allow them to pick up sound and participate in their balance – From geological formations between 700 and 800,000 years ago on the island of Rhodes, in the Aegean Sea.
They then measured it to study how the size of the fish changed during the glacial and interglacial periods.
According to the study authors, the shape of these structures is specific to each type of fish and their size directly reflects the size of the sample from which they came, which is why they are used to find out what fish looked like in the past.
Thanks to the analysis of ear dust, we discovered that during the interglacial periods, with 4 degrees Celsius higher than normalThe fish were 35% smaller, and the same will happen now due to the warming of the seas and oceans,” predicted the lead author of the study, Konstantina Agiady, from the University of Vienna.
This is one of the few works to date that has addressed the consequences of climate change in the deepest part of the oceans, the mesopelagic region – which extends from depths of approximately 200 to 1,000 metres, explained Marta Cole, a researcher at ICM-CSIC.
The study focused on changes induced during the interglacial period by those known as “lantern fish,” a group of small mesopelagic fish named for their ability to produce their own light.
“Knowing how these organisms respond to ocean warming is key, as they contribute to the stability of ecosystems, Reduce carbon dioxide atmosphere and are the basis of the diet for other organisms in the marine food web,” Cole warned.
“These fish represent about 100 times more than the total annual global catch,” the marine scientist added.
According to Coll, lanternfish contribute a lot to the biological carbon pump because plant organisms absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and every night these fish move hundreds of meters to the ocean surface to feed on plankton and come back down. of carbon from the surface to the sea floor.