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Interactive effects of ocean acidificaiton, elevated temperature, and reduced salinity on early-life stages of the Pacific oyster

Journal article
Authors W.K.K.G. Ko
R. Dineshram
V. Chan
C. Campanati
Jonathan N. Havenhand
V. Thiyagarajan
Published in Environmental Science and Technology
Volume 48
Issue 17
Pages 10079-10088
ISSN 0013-936X
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory
Pages 10079-10088
Language en
Subject categories Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Animal physiology, Marine ecology


Ocean acidification (OA) effects on larvae blamed for the rapidly declining oyster production in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. This is a serious issue in China which produces over 80% of the world’s oysters. Because climate-related stressors rarely act alone, we need to consider OA in combination with warming and reduced salinity. Here, the interactive effects of these three climate-related stressors on the larval growth of Crassostrea gigas were examined. Larvae were cultured in combinations of temperature (24oC and 30oC), pH (pH 8.1 and 7.4), and salinity (15 and 25 psu) for 58 days to the early juvenile stage. Decreased pH (pH 7.4), elevated temperature (30oC) and reduced salinity (15 psu) significantly delayed pre- and post-settlement growth. Elevated temperature lowered the larval lipid index, a proxy for physiological quality, and rescued the negative effects of decreased pH on attachment and metamorphosis only in a salinity of 25 psu. The negative effects of multiple stressors on larval metamorphosis were not due to poor physiological quality, reduced size, or depleted lipid reserves at the time of metamorphosis. Our results support the hypothesis that the C.gigas larvae are vulnerable to the interactions of OA with reduced salinity and warming in Yellow Sea coastal waters now and in the future.

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