• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences


    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution


    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .
Published: April 1, 2009
First published in IGBP's Global Change Newsletter Issue 73, April 2009

The early development of oysters: synergistic effects of ocean acidification and  temperature

Features |
The Ocean in a High-CO2 World: Science highlights from the symposium
Laura M. Parker
University of Western Sydney
School of Natural Sciences
Sydney, Australia
lauraparker_83@hotmail.com

Pauline M. Ross
University of Western Sydney
School of Natural Sciences
Sydney, Australia
pm.ross@uws.edu.au

Wayne A. O’Connor
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
Port Stephens Fisheries Centre
NSW, Australia

Studies have found that projected elevations in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), as early as 2065, will reduce the calcification of adult organisms in oceanic environments. Less is known, however, about how the combined effects of elevated dissolved CO2 (pCO2) and temperature will impact the sensitive early development stages of marine organisms. In a series of studies, we investigated the synergistic effects of elevated pCO2 (375, 600, 750 and 1000 ppm) and temperature (18, 22, 26 and 30 °C) on the fertilisation, development and growth of the early life history stages of two ecologically and economically important estuarine molluscs, the Sydney rock oyster, Saccostrea glomerata, and the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas.  We found that exposure to elevated pCO2 and temperature had deleterious effects on the reproduction, growth and development of the early life history stages of S. glomerata and C. gigas.  Overall as pCO2 increased and temperature deviated from 26 °C, fertilisation, development and growth decreased and abnormality and mortality increased (Figure). Furthermore, S. glomerata was more sensitive to elevated pCO2 and temperature than C. gigas.  This implies that if our oceans continue to acidify and warm, the Pacific Oyster, C. gigas, may become the dominant species along the South Eastern coast of Australia.

Laura Parker received the prize for the best student oral presentation at the Symposium.

Light microscopy of Sydney Rock Oyster larvae reared at 22 °C

a. under normal pCO2 375 ppm (control)
b. under elevated pCO2, 1000 ppm for 48 hr.

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