Effects of Upwelling and Ocean Acidification on West Coast Bivalve Species

PI: Chris Langdon


Research Institution: Oregon State University

P.I:                           Chris Langdon

Phone:                     541-867-0231

Email:                      chris.langdon@oregonstate.edu

Project website link:


In conjunction with George Waldbusser, Burke Hales and Brian Haley (Oregon State University), my laboratory is working on a study to better understand the physiological responses of West Coast bivalve larvae to variation in components of seawater carbonate chemistry (e.g. pH, pCO2, alkalinity, mineral saturation state) associated with ocean acidification events. We will measure carbonate chemistry effects on a broad range of larval physiological responses, including shell formation and composition, metabolism, feeding rates and control of intracellular pH. Experiments will be conducted under both acute (24 – 48 h) and longer-term (days) conditions in which the responses of native and introduced mussel, oyster and clam species are compared.

In 2006, blooms of V. tubiashii were associated with strong upwelling on the Oregon coast and coincidently high mortalities of oyster larvae were reported in a major commercial West Coast hatchery. In conjunction with Claudia Hase (Oregon State University), we are studying the effects of the shellfish pathogen Vibrio tubiashii and mutants (with deleted genes for toxic extracelluar proteases) on mussel and oyster larvae under various culture conditions in order to develop strategies for hatcheries to avoid future impacts of this pathogen.

Lastly, my laboratory houses the Molluscan Broodstock Program that selects for high yielding stains of Pacific oysters – economically the most important cultured bivalve species on the West Coast. We are interested in studying the responses of different genetic strains of the Pacific oyster to ocean acidification conditions to better understand the scope for adaption to predicted global changes in seawater conditions.

KEYWORDS: Bivalve, mollusk, larvae, physiology, genetics, adaptation, oyster, Vibrio