Friday, January 24, 2014

Ocean Acidification and Oysters- The Canary in the Coal Mine

A scientist friend of the Oyster Project sent us notice of this webinar next week. It focuses on pacific oysters and the problems they are having forming shell. While shell formation has not been a reported problem for oyster growers here in Massachusetts, there have been some indications that acidity may be affecting the steamer clams. Here is a link to an older post on Mark Green's work on the topic.


The next webinar will be Tuesday, January 28 at 11am ET. George Waldbusser will be presenting “Developmental and energetic basis linking larval oyster shell formation to ocean acidification.”

Though the presentation will begin at 11am ET, the webinar will be available starting at 10:30am ET. Please make sure you are signed onto the webinar early in case you have any issues.

To register for this webinar, click hereAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing detailed information about joining the webinar, and the system requirements.
Questions are encouraged throughout the webinar, but will be held until the end of the presentation to answer. If we are unable to answer your question at that time, we will follow up with you after the webinar. 

These webinars are part of NE-CAN’s development of a regional Implementation Plan through webinars and workshops to synthesize the current State of the Science and stakeholder needs. All past webinars are available to watch online under the tab “Webinars” on the NECAN website.

Our next NE-CAN webinar will be February 11.
Speaker Details and Abstract:
“Developmental and energetic basis linking larval oyster shell formation to ocean acidification” presented by George Waldbusser, Oregon State University
Much interest has been generated about the Pacific Northwest oyster seed crisis that began in the mid to late 2000’s. Although empirical evidence had shown a strong relationship between conditions in which larvae are spawned and production output in the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery, a mechanism linking the higher CO2 (but not thermodynamically corrosive) waters to larval success was lacking. We proposed that the rate of shell formation during the precipitation of the first shell in larval oysters put a strong energetic demand on the larvae at a period of time when they are reliant almost solely on endogenous energy (egg reserves).  I will discuss our ongoing work with the industry here in the Pacific Northwest, more recent experimental work that is supporting our hypothesis that kinetics (rates) of shell formation is an important predictor in understanding sensitivities, and some preliminary work to understand the biological mechanisms for how oyster larvae may precipitate shell material so quickly. In addition, changes in the marine carbonate chemistry of the California Current Ecosystem and the estuaries tightly coupled to it help to explain why the larval oysters in the Pacific Northwest have served to be a canary in the coal mine.   

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