Climate Change and Species Invasions

Will invasive species benefit from climate change? Will climate change differentially affect native and invasive species physiology?

Organismal physiology is key to understanding biological responses to climate change. I am investigating how climate change stressors (e.g. warming and low salinity) may affect both native species (Olympia oysters; Ostrea lurida) and invasive species (eastern oyster drills; Urosalpinx cinerea and Japanese oyster drills; Ocinebrellus inornatus).

Eastern oyster drills (Urosalpinx cinerea) are invasive on the west coast of the US and consume native oysters (as well as commercial oysters).

Eastern oyster drills (Urosalpinx cinerea) are invasive on the west coast of the US and consume native oysters (as well as commercial oysters).

For this work, I have been constructing sub-lethal thermal performance curves as well as calculating lethal responses to warming and low salinity to determine which species may be most sensitive to environmental change. I am then comparing this data to environmental time series in order to understand the context of these physiological responses.

The Japanese oyster drill (Ocinebrellus inornatus) also consumes Olympia oysters. This is a field collected individual from Tomales Bay photographed next to it's plate figure from Light's Manual.

The Japanese oyster drill (Ocinebrellus inornatus) also consumes Olympia oysters. This is a field collected individual from Tomales Bay photographed next to it’s plate figure from Light’s Manual.

 

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