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:12/5/2016)... WASHINGTON , Dec. 5, 2016  The ... (NIJ), today published "Can CT Scans Enhance or ... examines the potential of supporting or replacing forensic ... a CT scan. In response to ... NIJ is exploring using CT scans as a ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 1, 2016 The report "Biometric ... Future Technology (Iris Recognition System), Vehicle Type (Passenger ... Forecast to 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... 2016, and is projected to grow to USD ... 14.06%.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160303/792302) ...
(Date:12/2/2016)...   SoftServe , a global digital technology ... electrocardiogram (ECG) biosensor analysis system for continuous driver ... The smart system ensures device-to-device communication between ECG ... mobile devices to easily ,recognize, and monitor users ... technology advances, so too must the security systems ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... Dec. 5, 2016 Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE: ... focused on the treatment of dementia, today announced that ... treatment of Alzheimer,s disease will be presented at the ... Friday, December 9, 2016 in San Diego ... of both simple and complex measures of activities of ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... December 05, 2016 ... ... hydrophobic, lignin-coated nanocellulose, including both cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose nanofibrils. The composition ... nanocellulose. There are also claims directed to combination with polymers, carbon fibers, ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec 5, 2016 Research and ... "Biomarkers - Technologies, Markets and Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... their discovery using various -omics technologies such as proteomics and metabolomics. ... new tests are also based on biomarker. Currently the ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... The Real Dirt with ... cannabis technology and application experts, Chip Baker. Chip Baker formerly co-founded Royal Gold ... past 30 years, Chip Baker other industry veterans have made the evolution of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: