California State University, Bakersfield
ocean acidification, hypoxia, larval development, red abalone, upwelling, climate change, marine ecology
Global climate change is driving two principle shifts in ocean conditions, including: warming of surface waters, and acidification and deoxygenation of deeper waters. These changes create stressful conditions within marine ecosystems and are projected to increase through this century and beyond. Seasonal events known as upwelling bathe coastal ecosystems in colder, nutrient-rich waters from deeper areas of the ocean, but the acidic, deoxygenated water caused by climate change is brought to nearshore-coastal communities from these seasonal events and can be potentially stressful for species inhabiting these areas. To assess the impacts of current and future upwelling-related ocean conditions, we selected the red abalone, Haliotis rufescens, as a model organism affected by upwelling dynamics. Few studies have been done to test the effects of simultaneous exposure to low pH and low dissolved O2 on developing embryos. In this novel study, we measured the effects a multi-stressor event, such as upwelling, would have on development of the CaCO3 dependent organism, H. rufescens. We compared the developmental stages from fertilization to hatching while abalone embryos were exposed to a treatment of either low pH/low O2, low pH/high O2, or a control treatment of high pH/high O2. This experiment evaluates whether these potentially harmful conditions would slow and/or impede the transition from early developmental stages to free-swimming planktonic larvae. Data suggests development in a low pH/low O2 environment will adversely affect hatching of H. rufescens embryos.
Heard, Madison, "Effects of Climate Change on the Larval Development of Haliotis rufescens" (2016). CSU Student Research Competition Delegate Entries. 4.