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7 peabody s4 oa presentation2 - peabody 10-27-10

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  • For most of us in the shellfish farming business, this story started in the hatcheries. Shellfish hatcheries now supply a large fraction of the seed or young shellfish needed to support commercial production, stocks for shellfish restoration, and some recreational and tribal fisheries. Locations are shown on the map (use pointer).
  • The inconsistent supply of naturally set oysters and other shellfish means the growers are dependent on the hatcheries, particularly during the lean years. If they are unable to effectively replenish oysters on harvested grounds, production in subsequent years suffers. Also, the oysters enhance habitat on bare mudflats for young crabs, and as we shall see promote the settlement of juvenile oysters and clams.
  • There is a good connection between increasing CO2 in the air, vs CO2 in the water and pH – as CO2 increases pH decreases.
  • Estimated aragonite saturation states of the surface ocean for the years 1765, 1995, 2040, and 2100 (Feely et al., submitted), based on the modeling results of Orr et al. (2005) and a Business-As-Usual CO2 emissions scenario.
  • During the 2009 sampling season, pCO2 was high throughout pretty much the whole sampling period. Corresponding to this, pH and both aragonite and calcite saturation states were low, with aragonite actually undersaturated during 8 of 10 sampling events. The peak spatfall observed (after the expected peak of spatfall for the whole season, since we started sampling so late) started during the best water chemistry conditions we observed last summer and tapered off over the next few weeks as conditions deteriorated. Whether this is coincidental or not, I don’t think we can say based on this data set. Dashed black line in top panel is atmospheric CO2 concentration, dashed red line in 2nd panel is equilibrium or saturation of aragonite and calcite.
  • During 2010, pCO2 values were much lower than in 2009, and saturation states were higher, with only a few times when aragonite got as low as saturation, and calcite never did. pH was also higher. Peak spatfall again occurred during some of the “best” conditions, in terms of having low pCO2 and relatively high saturation states and pH. The only time with lower pCO2 and higher saturation/pH appears to have been during the very beginning of the sampling season, possibly during a spring bloom in early May (pCO2 actually dipped below atmospheric values, suggesting biological drawdown of CO2).


  • 1. Ocean Acidification Monitoring in Totten Inlet
    Betsy Peabody
    Puget Sound Restoration Fund
    Tel: 206.780.6947
    Thanks to Dan Cheney, Simone Alin, Brian Allen, Bobbi Hudson & Calm Cove Oyster Co. for slides
  • 2. Partners
    University of Washington (APL, Oceanography)
    Pacific Shellfish Institute
    Puget Sound Restoration Fund
    Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association
    Taylor Shellfish
    Baywater, Inc.
    Department of Ecology
    Funded by the Puget Sound Partnership
  • 3. TheWarningSigns
    Shellfish Hatcheries – Oregon, Washington, and beyond
  • 4. The Warning Signs
    Effects on Willapa/Grays Harbor ecology and growers
  • 5. A Larger Problem
    25% of the CO2 we emit is absorbed by the world’s oceans
    Ocean acidification is the gradual decrease in pH due to rising CO2.
    Increased acidity leads to increased mortality in calcium dependent creatures – shellfish, plankton, corals, algae
  • 6. Mauna Loa atmospheric CO2 (ppmv)
    Aloha seawater pCO2 (µatm)
    Aloha seawater pH
    A Larger Problem
    The Acid Ocean
    The Manoa Loa data and ocean acidity
    y = (1.738 ± 0.0293)x – 3105.9
    R2 = 0.94
    y = (1.855 ± 0.224)x – 3364
    R2 = 0.310
    y = (-0.0019 ± 0.00025)x + 11.82
    R2 = 0.265
  • 7. A Larger Problem
    Coastal upwelling
    • Water upwelled off coast is loaded with more CO2 than anywhere else in the world (10% higher than Atlantic).
    • 8. The North Pacific is at the end of a deep circulation line.
    • 9. It’s full of old water (cold, salty, CO2-rich, low pH).
  • A Larger Problem Aragonite
    Increasing acidity from CO2 lowers saturation level of aragonite.
    Shelled organisms need high aragonite to grow.
    Bivalve juveniles experience significant mortality when aragonite values decrease and their aragonite shell dissolves.
  • 10. Question: Is There an Effect on Natural Shellfish Populations in Puget Sound
    Puget Sound Partnership funded an oyster monitoring project during 2009-2010 settlement seasons
  • 11. Puget Sound Sampling Stations
    Big Cove, Totten Inlet
    Dabob Bay, Hood Canal
  • 12. Sample Collection
    Weekly samples of seawater, spatfall and planktonic larvae, May – Sept.
    Data correlated with oceanographic measurements (DIC, TA, pH, carbonate ion conc. & aragonite sat.)
  • 13. Totten Inlet
    Summer 2009
  • 14. Totten Inlet
    Summer 2010
  • 15. Differences between Olympia oysters and Pacific Oysters
  • 16. Potential Effects of Corrosive Seawater
    Shellfish production
    Natural Filtration
    Ecological Services
    Ecosystem Restoration
    Fewer Local Food Sources
    Increasingly Eutrophic Waters
    Troubled Local Economies
  • 17. Discussion Points
    No sign yet in Puget Sound that there is an effect on natural shellfish populations
    Monitoring should continue given risk factors and potential impacts
    Answering the question will be tricky given natural variability in recruitment.
  • 18. Where do we go from here?
    Ocean acidification drives home the reality of a big, global phenomenon.
    Knowing about potential local effects increases the urgency to reduce global CO2 emissions.
    There are outreach opportunities we can and should seize since climate change and global warming are THE topics of the day among our children’s generation.
  • 19. Thanks
    Richard Feely
    Simone Alin
    Christopher Sabine
    Jan Newton
    Daniel Cheney
    Brian Allen
    Jonathan Davis
    Allan Devol
    Duane Fagergren
    Calm Cove Oyster Co.
    Christopher Krembs
    Robin Downey
    Andy Suhrbier
    Bobbi Hudson
    Aimee Christy
    Mary Middleton
    Kristen Rasmussen