Rubber Algae Help Create Artificial Reef; Could Combat Ocean Acidification

A team of European researchers is testing whether tiny artificial algae can help protect coral reefs in the Mediterranean Sea that are threatened by ocean acidification due to climate change.

The small plastic structures are made of a non-toxic, highly elastic rubber, and are designed to mimic natural coralline algae. Like coral, coralline algae help form reef habitats for small invertebrates.

Coralline algae reefs play an important role in the case of ocean acidification, explained marine biologist and team member Federica Ragazzola at the U.K.’s University of Portsmouth. As waters become more acidic, coralline algae reefs made up of carbonate minerals will slowly dissolve, increasing the alkalinity of the seawater within the reef.

Source – 12/06/2017, Environmental News Network, See more at – http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/51495