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The Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Pacific Oyster

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Emma Timmins-Schiffman

on 2 May 2014

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Transcript of The Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Pacific Oyster

The Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Pacific Oyster
What is ocean acidification?
Increased atmospheric CO is caused by fossil fuel use and land use change (deforestation).
Atmospheric gases are in equilibrium with surface ocean water.
Through a chemical reaction, CO combines with seawater and releases hydrogen ions (H+), lowering pH.
Will all areas of the ocean be affected in the same way by ocean acidification?
Most of the information we have is on the open ocean, but coastal waters are a different story.
physical processes: upwelling, riverine input
biological processes:
Biological systems have been exposed to fluctuations in pH.
Water chemistry behaves differently.
Are nearshore animals better able to adapt?
Model organism to understand the effects of ocean acidification: the Pacific oyster
Insight into possible limits of adaptation in nearshore organisms
Well developed physiological and molecular tools
In general, invertebrate larvae are more susceptible to the effects of ocean acidification than adults.
Larval developmental timeline
transition to external energy sources
Developmental changes measured:
Larvae grew less at the lowest pH/highest pCO
Fewer larvae were fully calcified at highest pCO
By studying adult oysters we gain different kinds of insight into the effects of ocean acidification.
Glycogen and lipids are important energy sources.
Fatty acid profiles were not different among pCO treatments.
There was no difference in glycogen content among pCO treatments.
After 4 weeks, energy stores were not altered by ocean acidification.
Shell deposition is energy-intensive and sensitive to changes in pH.
All oysters grew new shell, but shell quality decreased with pH.
How is response to acute stress affected?
pCO did not affect oyster response to heat shock.
What are the underlying (molecular) changes that lead to these observations?
Proteomics: a non-biased assay of underlying processes that can reveal effects on physiology.
Proteins are what accomplish functions in our cells/bodies.
If there is relatively more of a specific protein at high pCO , we assume there is a physiological need for it.
What can we learn from proteomics?
Oyster encounters ocean acidification
Which proteins change?
Changes in energy metabolism
Resources normally allocated to other processes are needed to combat ocean acidification.
Increased metabolism creates more reactive oxygen species.
Cellular stress: elevated expression of proteins involved in antioxidant response, cell death, and general stress response.
Does ocean acidification affect the response to other stresses?
Normal pH
Ocean acidification
The proteomic stress response is significantly altered by ocean acidification.
Ocean acidification affects resource allocation in oysters. But inter-individual variability in responses will determine the fate of populations.
Variability in responses to OA has been observed between species, populations, family groups, and offspring of adults exposed to high pCO . Ecological history is important in resilience to ocean acidification.
In adult bivalves, increased access to food can mitigate the effects of ocean acidification. This means that response to OA is a question of energetic resources.
Could resistance to ocean acidification occur if there are oysters that can more efficiently use available resources?
FHL Ocean Acidification Environmental Laboratory
Normal pH
Ocean acidification
Emma Timmins-Schiffman
University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences/Genome Sciences

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