Marine heatwaves have minimal influence on the quality of adult Sydney rock oyster flesh

Endurance E. Ewere, Nedeljka Rosic, Philipp E. Bayer, Ajit Ngangbam, David Edwards, Brendan P. Kelaher, Lea T. Mamo, Kirsten Benkendorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Marine heatwaves (MHWs) are impacting marine biodiversity, including fisheries and aquaculture. However, it is largely unknown which species will be able to endure MHWs and at what price. Here, we applied elevated temperature (2 °C above ambient) and two different heatwave scenarios to adults of the economically important Sydney rock oyster (SRO, Saccostrea glomerata), and evaluated the impact on nutritional properties, gene expression profiles and immune health indicators. We found that elevated temperature (23 °C) and a variable heatwave (VHW) during winter caused some significant differences in the micronutrient and trace elements levels in oyster flesh. There was an increase of lead under VHW and a decrease in chromium, barium and aluminium under elevated temperature. Conversely, gene expression profiles and other physiological parameters, including flesh protein, fatty acid profiles and hemocyte numbers, were not affected by MHWs. These results indicate that adult SRO are reasonably resilient, and should continue to provide high-quality seafood, under near-future ocean warming and moderate heatwave scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148846
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021


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