According to a research published in nature scientific reports, a significant threat lies for marine animals living in the coastal regions in the coming years on account of significant reduction in the levels of oxygen in the environment. It is anticipated that in the future hypoxic or low oxygen areas in coastal waters increase considerably in terms of duration as well as scale. This is anticipated to threaten the life of many animals in these areas as only some of the adult estuarine invertebrates are able to cope up with hypoxia that too for a short period. Studies have shown that even moderate hypoxia exposure can have varied effects on the metabolism of animals living in coastal areas. This variation depends on whether the adult animals are exposed for a short time or long term.
Scientists have warned that this is expected to result in making the species vulnerable and ultimately cause reduction in biodiversity which may not be obvious at present. Rising temperature, ocean acidification and hypoxia are posing considerable threats to the marine environment. However, the duration and expanding hypoxic areas anticipated to increase in the near future and many of the species will be exposed chronically throughout their life cycle.
Scientists have conducted a study wherein they collected the adults from the wild and tested them under low levels of oxygen or moderate hypoxia for a period of one week. Scientists monitor the wedding response shown by both young and adult animals from coastal regions. While the adults were able to maintain their oxygen uptake, the offsprings which were in hypoxic conditions exhibited a reduced ability to regulate the oxygen uptake and turned out to be smaller in size as they used more of their energy for survival rather than for growth in hypoxic conditions.