Readying sustainable aquaculture for a changing ocean: uncovering the mechanisms associated with intergenerational carryover effects to enhance bivalve resilience to acidification


PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Steven Roberts (University of Washington)

CO-INVESTIGATORS: Mackenzie Gavery (NOAA), Ryan Crim (Puget Sound Restoration Fund), Brent Vadopalas (Washington Sea Grant), Stephanie Burns (Maritime & Ocean Science High School)

Ocean change is accelerating, in particular ocean acidification through increasing carbon levels in marine environments. A growing body of research focuses on the impacts of climate change on marine life. By investigating specific physiological and reproductive responses of marine organisms to environmental stressors like acidification, managers and scientists can refine an understanding of how marine life will cope with the conditions predicted for future oceans.  

Researchers conducted experiments to assess Manila clam response to ocean acidification. Adult Manila clams were collected from Puget Sound and acclimated at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Manchester Research Station. Clams were then exposed to acidified water, spawned, and their offspring assessed. The primary focus is on how these acidified conditions affect the clams’ reproductive outputs and their physiological health with the aim to provide data that can help to conserve and manage this species more effectively.