Document Type

Article

Department/Program

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Publication Date

2004

Journal

Journal of Shellfish Research

Volume

23

Issue

3

First Page

825

Last Page

829

Abstract

The number and abundance of macro-faunal taxa was estimated from six floating structures (floats) used to culture the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) near Chincoteague Island. Virginia, USA. After a 10-mo grow-out period, all organisms found among and attached to the cultured oysters were counted. The final mean size of oysters was 80.5 (14.7 SD) mm. Overall, 45 species of macrofauna were recorded with the number of species in the floats ranging from 24 to 36. There was no relationship between the number of taxa and the density of oysters in the floats. Total abundances of associated organisms were estimated at 12,746/float to 92,602/float. These findings highlight the diverse (taxonomic and trophic) and abundant nature of communities associated with cultured oysters. They also provide a baseline set of information that may help more clearly define the interactions between oyster culture and the environment.

Keywords

Crassostrea; virginica; oysters; aquaculture; epifauna; floats

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