The Olympia Oyster (Ostrea lurida) at risk for local extinction: Addressing Climate Change Impacts

Nancy MoraRogers

Submitted during COVID19 - Shelter in Place orders for SF, CA 2020.


Olympia oysters are a native bivalve to the Pacific Northwest. The abundance of oysters has declined over the 20th century. The Olympia oyster population in the San Francisco Bay has improved with restoration efforts in the most recent years, however not near historical levels. Climate change abiotic factors will impact the remaining populations and the restoration efforts that have taken place. This paper examines the abiotic and biotic factors that affect the oysters’ survival within the current and climate change context with a focus on the resiliency of the Olympia oyster with consideration of the abiotic factors influencing oyster survival such as salinity, pCO2, and increased temperatures. Surprisingly, the oyster larvae demonstrated resiliency to elevated pCO2 with a reduction in size and growth, as well as negative impacts on their shells in the analysis of peer review papers. The recommendations include future support for restoration efforts within the framework of climate change to mitigate climate change effects on the Olympia oysters.