Can Oysters Survive Ocean Acidification? Mrs. Lee's Third Grade South Prairie Elementary Tillamook, OR Question: Can Oysters Survive Ocean Acidification? Whiskey Creek Oyster Hatchery Thank you! Alan Barton Crissy Smith Clair Thomas Sue Cudd Research and Discovery pH? Dissolved Oxygen? Hypothesis: We think that the baby oyster spat will not survive at a pH level of 6.5. We think as the pH goes up and becomes less acidic, the spat will respond and grow larger. The spat will grow in ocean water of pH 7.5 and will grow even larger in ocean water of pH 8.5. Group Activity: Oyster Life Cycle Posters C-MORE Kits—Ocean Acidification If you increase CO2—What happens to the pH? *LabQuests *pH Probes *CO2 Sensors *BioChambers Setting up the Experiment *3 Tanks *Salinity Gauge *pH Probe *Compound Balance Scales *Calipers *CO2 Tank/Gauge *Tubing/Airstones *Air Compressor *PVC pipe/screens Spat Containers 5cm X 5cm PVC pipe with plastic screen Algae provided by Whiskey Creek Oyster Hatchery Procedure (Abbreviated): *2 spat containers per tank *10 spat per container *Feed spat 1 cup of algae daily *Measure size and mass of spat weekly. *Run the experiment for 2 months. Tank 1: Tank 2: Tank 3: 8.5 Raise pH by adding Aragonite--soluble form of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) 7.5 Lower pH by bubbling small amounts of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the tank. 6.5 Lower pH by bubbling large amounts of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)into the tank. Findings Effect of pH on shell growth: Over a two month period the oyster spat in the 7.5 and 8.5 tanks grew or increased in mm and the spat in the 6.5 tank went down or decreased in mm. Effect of pH on mass: Over a two month period the oyster spat in the 7.5 and 8.5 tanks increased in mass and the spat in the 6.5 tank decreased in mass. Summary: The pH of Netarts Bay varies between 7.4 and 8.3. Our experiment shows that oysters die and their shells begin to dissolve when carbon dioxide lowers pH between 6.5 and 7.5.