Navigation Links
Acidification, predators pose double threat to oysters
Date:1/15/2014

The once-booming, now struggling Olympia oyster native to the West Coast could face a double threat from ocean acidification and invasive predators, according to new research from the University of California, Davis' Bodega Marine Laboratory. The work is published Jan. 15 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Invasive snails ate 20 percent more juvenile oysters when both oysters and snails were raised under ocean conditions forecast for the end of this century, the researchers found. The results highlight the dangers of multiple stressors on ecosystems, said Eric Sanford, professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis and first author on the study.

"You might decide to go to work if you had a toothache. But what if you had a toothache, the flu, and a broken leg? At some point, multiple stressors will cause natural systems to break down," he said.

Native Olympia oysters were once so common in San Francisco Bay that they were a cheap food during the Gold Rush, commemorated in Hangtown Fry, an omelet of eggs, bacon and oysters. The population collapsed from overfishing in the late 1800s and has never recovered.

Atlantic oysters imported to the West Coast brought predatory snails such as the Atlantic oyster drill, which uses acid and a rasping tongue to drill holes in oyster shells.

Scientists have become increasingly concerned about the effects of climate change on ocean chemistry. As heat-trapping carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere, some of the gas dissolves in the oceans, causing a steady rise in the overall acidity of the oceans. An interdisciplinary team of researchers based at UC Davis' Bodega Marine Laboratory is looking into the oceans' future by raising animals in seawater with raised levels of dissolved carbon dioxide. In earlier work, they found that oysters raised under conditions predicted for the end of this century are smaller than present-day animals.

In Tomales Bay north of San Francisco, young snails emerge from egg capsules at about the same time of year that juvenile oysters settle from the plankton and grow into adults. Sanford and colleagues raised both oysters and snails in the lab to simulate this process under present-day conditions and with levels of carbon dioxide forecast for 2100.

They found that oysters raised under high carbon dioxide were smaller, but did not have thinner shells than oysters reared under present-day conditions. The snails were not affected by high carbon dioxide, but ate 20 percent more oysters under these conditions.

"It's like if you go out for tacos," Sanford said. "If the tacos are smaller, you're going to eat more of them."

The experiment was based on the average acidity of the oceans. However, as the overall acidity of the ocean rises, short-term fluctuations mean that locations like Tomales Bay are already experiencing peaks of acidity similar to those used in the experiment.

Apart from their culinary delights, oysters perform important ecosystem services, for example filtering material out of the water, and there have been growing efforts to restore their populations along the West Coast, including in San Francisco Bay. But the new work shows that the combination of climate change and invasive predators may make restoration increasingly difficult.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study maps human impacts on top ocean predators along US west coast
2. Predators vs. alien: European shrimps win predatory battles with an American invader
3. Caribbeans native predators unable to stop aggressive lionfish population growth
4. New study shows predators affect the carbon cycle
5. Dietary flexibility may have helped some large predators survive after last ice age
6. Baby sharks stay still to avoid being detected by predators
7. Bering Sea study finds prey density more important to predators than biomass
8. City birds adapt to their new predators
9. Bright life on the ocean bed: Predators may even color code food
10. Copper making salmon prone to predators
11. Top predators key to extinctions as planet warms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2017)... Former 9/11 Commission border counsel and Special ... Kephart of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, today releases ... "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry ... "As President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order gains more ... the travel ban, it is important that our national ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 2017 About Voice Recognition Biometrics Voice recognition ... against a stored voiceprint template. Acoustic features of ... tone are compared to distinguish between individual voices. ... most PCs already have a microphone and can ... biometrics are most likely to be deployed in ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 7, 2017 The biometrics market has ... confluence of organizations, desires to better authenticate or ... (password and challenge questions), biometrics is quickly working ... The market is driven by use cases, though ... and enterprise uses cases, with consumer-facing use cases ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... other medical conditions, today announced that Linda Marbán, Ph.D, president ... upcoming investor conferences: Cowen and Company ... 10:00 am ET Boston, MA ... at 9:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET) Dana ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... USA, and CARDIFF, UK (PRWEB) , ... February ... ... international society for optics and photonics , have been named Fellows of the ... significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... ... Park Systems , a leader in Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) since ... attendees and Park customers on Feb. 27, 2017 from 12-2pm at Morton’s The Steakhouse ... The luncheon will feature a talk on Automated AFM for Small-Scale and Large-Scale Surface ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Fort Washington, PA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... The Omnia-Prova Education Collaborative (TOPEC), the leading medical education provider of ... Accreditation with Commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). ...
Breaking Biology Technology: