Habitat Degradation is a series which comments on humans’ negative impacts on ecosystems worldwide. For each of the three habitats I depict, I chose representative species who are responding to the effects of the changes.
Habitat Degradation: Ocean Acidification contains ocean pH data from 1998 to 2012. The decreasing pH is due to atmospheric carbon dissolving into the ocean, and creating carbonic acid, which means a more acidic ocean. This has harmful effects on all marine life. Studies on clownfish show that more acidic water alters how their brains’ process information. This affects their ability to avoid predators by detecting noises and find their way home. Ocean water has a lower pH than a fish’s cells, so they take in carbonic acid in order to be in harmony with their environment. Even a small drop in pH requires fish to expend much more energy in order to equilibrate, and this energy is taken from other necessary functions. The clownfish in my watercolor are grouped in confusion, separated from the anemone in which they live. The oceans may be vast, but if pH drops globally, there is literally nowhere marine life can go, they are confined to the water.