Volume 72

Variables Influencing Spat Recruitment of Crassostrea virginica and Crassostrea rhizophorae in an Estuarine Environment

Surmont, E; P. Fletcher; C. Keenan
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Date: November, 2019

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Crassostrea virginica and Crassostrea rhizophorae are two important species that provide habitat and improve water quality within the Lake Worth Lagoon at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, Florida, USA. Restoration plans exist to improve population health to restore ecosystem services these species provide. Spat recruitment arrays were deployed and analyzed to determine variables influential in spat recruitment. Spat recruitment arrays were built to provide hard substrate and interstitial space for spat settlement using ceramic tiles. Each spat recruitment array was made up of 6 tiles, arranged in pairs. Each pair was placed 12 cm apart with 3.75 cm of space within the pair. Each tile had one textured side and one smooth side. After 3 months, tiles were removed from the estuary to count and measure oyster spat present. Our analysis found spat recruitment is heavily influenced by texture. Compared to smooth-sided tile, textured tile recruits a higher level of spat. If textured substrate is not available, inward orientation becomes more influential. For the spat recruitment arrays used in this study, smaller spaces between tiles did not foster heightened spat recruitment. The research did not identify a difference in the number of large oyster spat on inward or outward oriented tiles. According to our data from MacArthur Beach, Oyster spat recruitment for Crassostrea virginica and Crassostrea rhizophorae is more heavily influenced by available texture than space between substrate. The research asserts the importance of texture in oyster spat recruitment. An emphasis on textured substrate could increase success of spat recruitment arrays, restoration sites, and commercial operations.

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