The Interaction of Ocean Acidification and Food Availability on Growth and Metamorphosis in the Gastropod Crepidula fornicata

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Anthony Pires




The main research question we chose to investigate is: what are the combined impacts of ocean acidification and nutrition on larval shell growth, metamorphosis, and juvenile growth in the gastropod Crepidula fornicata? Based on this research question and previous studies, we hypothesized that nutrition would mitigate the negative effects of ocean acidification. Since the normal developmental stages of C. fornicata are well understood, any deviations from these norms due to stressors introduced into the environment should be easily observed. The Washington State C. fornicata is particularly appropriate to this study due to the high levels of pCO2 present in Washington’s coastal waters. In addition to the wealth of research regarding larval stages of invertebrates and ocean acidification, there have also been studies describing food availability as another stress that occurs in temperate coastal areas (Fenaux et al., 1994). Our investigation attempted to provide insight into the interaction between these two environmental stressors.

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