mentioned in Chapter 2, this Theme would benefit from a prioritization process to assess the most important goals to advance.
In summary: The discussion of calcification and other physiological processes in the Species-Specific Physiological Responses section would benefit from a more balanced representation of the multiple physiological processes that could be affected by acidification. This section thus needs to be expanded to recommend studies on the impacts of ocean acidification and other simultaneous environmental changes on organism performance and its key physiological underpinnings, rather than overemphasizing research on calcification processes. The Strategic Plan needs to include a description of research goals that (1) ensure that research addresses key knowledge gaps, (2) investigate the potential for physiological acclimatization and examine evolutionary mechanisms for adaptation to maintain or increase ecosystem resilience, (3) study how effects of ocean acidification interact with those of other stressors, and (4) examine how changes at the organism level will alter ecosystem structure and function. These goals will likely promote the integration of experimental and observational results (Themes 1 and 2) with physiological and ecological models (see Theme 3).
The FOARAM Act includes ‘modeling’ as a Program Element, “to predict changes in the ocean carbon cycle as a function of carbon dioxide and atmosphere-induced changes in temperature, ocean circulation, biogeochemistry, ecosystem and terrestrial input, and modeling to determine impacts on marine ecosystems and individual marine organisms.”
The introduction to Theme 3 (page 27 of the Strategic Plan) provides a summary of the current status of the field of modeling and highlights some challenges, along with an appreciation of its current and future evolution. This section presents a fair amount of information, although it is not always sufficiently supported by literature references. The section falls short, however, in describing how these model developments will contribute to reaching the main objectives outlined in this particular Program Element of the FOARAM Act and, more generally, how modeling studies can help to achieve the broader objectives of the FOARAM Act. In the latter context, there is inadequate integration of modeling with the other Themes in the Plan.
To strengthen the Strategic Plan, the committee believes that Theme 3 could be improved if it identified how models can contribute to ocean