Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Journal Of Shellfish Research
Reproductive periodicity of sessile estuarine invertebrates reflects local seasonality of environmental (temperature, salinity) and biologic (food) parameters. Estuaries are ephemeral features in geologic time but considered somewhat constant in the course of recent human history (decadal time scales). Analyses of long-term trends in eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) settlement periodicity since 1960 in three major Chesapeake Bay rivers (James, Piankatank and Great Wicomico Rivers) of the Chesapeake Bay show marked changes within the 4-decade time frame. The 50th percentile of cumulative recruitment occurs between day 194 and 250 of the year depending on year and location. Significant coherence in interannual variation is observed across a wide range of sites. These patterns are related to pre and post disease (both Haplosporidium nelsoni and Perkinsus marinus) events, periods characterized by high and low river flow, varying harvest pressure, and trends arguably associated with directed climate change.
Eastern Oyster; Crassostrea Virginica; Settlement; Recruitment; Climate Change; Chesapeake Bay
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Southworth, Melissa and Mann, Roger L., Decadal Scale Changes In Seasonal Patterns Of Oyster Recruitment In The Virginia Sub Estuaries Of The Chesapeake Bay (2004). Journal Of Shellfish Research, 23(2), 391-402.