Effects of Global Warming on Clownfish

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Leslie Adkins Mrs. Gunther BIO 101-25 30 September 2012 An article written by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), studies the effects of climate change on anemone fish (or clown fish). The articles studies how global climate change can affect the habitat and distribution of the clown fish. It also discusses whether or not clown fish are able to adapt to changing conditions in their environment. Clown fish are a species of fish that is mainly found inhabiting tropical and subtropical areas in the Pacific and Indian oceans, with the greatest diversity of species being found on shallow reefs in Papua New Guinea. Clown fish only reside within the specific range of certain sea anemones that the clown fish uses for protection. Clown fish are one of only a few fish not repelled by an anemones poisonous sting. They can build an immunity to the poison that no other species can acquire; this is what allow them to use them for protection from predatory fish. In return for the protection, the clown fish stave off predators of the anemone such as angel fish. The anemone supports multiple clown fish, which is usually a single female and several males. Studies have found that carbon dioxide levels have been on the rise due to global warming. As carbon dioxide levels in the oceans and near corral reefs increase, the area that the reefs cover is gradually declining. If carbon dioxide levels are allowed to continue rising, by 2030 and 2040, reefs will continue to decline to the point that, the reefs and the clown fish on them could possibly start to die out. Clown fish are so heavily dependent on the reefs due to the fact that the anemone live only in these areas. Increases in the acidity level are another detrimental factor coming from the global climate change. This inhibits the clown fish's ability to detect chemical signals that

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