The set of images on the right illustrates the difference between what healthy and unhealthy larval oysters look like under a microscope during their first few days after fertilization (the 0.1 mm scale bar is about the width of a hair). On the left are images from oysters grown in favorable seawater conditions (pH = 8.0, Ω = 1.64) whereas the oysters on the right were grown in unfavorable seawater conditions (pH = 7.49, Ω = 0.47), both found in the natural waters at Taylor Shellfish Hatchery in Dabob Bay, WA. You can see that the oysters on the left have grown smooth, round shells while the ones on the right are deformed and show a number of marked spots where dissolution has occurred. The oysters on the right are growing so poorly that they would be expected to die before growing to full size. This is what is causing relative larval production to decrease as Ω decreases.

 

Sat state and larvae

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