Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

R/IS-15

Assessing the potential for natural predators to control the spread of the Suminoe oyster, Crassostrea ariakensis

Principal Investigator: 

Roger I.E. Newell

Start/End Year: 

2003 to 2007

Institution: 

Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Co-Principal investigator: 

Victor S. Kennedy, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Topic(s): 

Description: 

We will quantify mortality rates of different sized C. ariakensis when exposed to the dominant predators in the mesohaline region of estuaries in the mid-Atlantic region. In concurrent studies we will measure the mortality of similarly sized eastern oyster C. virginica exposed to the same predators. By statistically comparing rates of mortality between the two species exposed to the same predators under identical conditions we will ascertain if natural predators can control feral populations of C ariakensis to the same degree as they control eastern oyster populations. We will use these data to inform managers charged with evaluating the possible consequences of the proposed introduction of a non-native oyster.

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