Predator-prey dynamics in a changing ocean: Does life history influence the susceptibility of juvenile fishes to ocean acidification and hypoxia in nursery habitats?

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Start/End: September, 2014 to September, 2015

Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is contributing to ocean acidification and hypoxia in the ocean. This study aims to investigate the responses of predator and prey species and their interactions in response to changing environmental conditions in the ocean. This project takes an interdisciplinary approach to consider multiple effects of ocean acidification and hypoxia on organismal biology, which will provide more comprehensive knowledge of how animals respond to changing global conditions, as well as a more detailed understanding of the mechanisms that underlie these responses. The project also incorporates exposures of fishes over multiple timescales, as well as environmentally relevant variation, which will provide new insight into the interactive effects of ocean acidification and hypoxia over time, and in conditions that more accurately reflect the challenges coastal animals will face in the field. In addition, the researchers plan to use two closely related species of rockfish to test the hypothesis that different species may be more or less vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidifcation  and hypoxia due to their individual life history strategies.

Species-specific responses may have significant ecological consequences, and this project has the potential to identify which taxa may be more to less susceptible to global climate change stressors, based on specific life history characteristics. Therefore, the research is particularly relevant for providing anticipatory advice for managers seeking to determine which species of concern are most likely to be in need of conservation and management actions, and can help to predict the consequences of ocean acidification and hypoxia in the future.

  • Principal Investigators

    University of California, Davis

Co-principal Investigators