Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Journal Of Shellfish Research
A significant body of knowledge has been generated during the past decade on disease tolerance of the native oyster Crassostrea virginica. A major opportunity to move into a large-scale field application phase of that knowledge has been presented by a 10-y commitment by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) to a partnership in Virginia focused on widespread restoration of oyster resources for ecological purposes. The partnership involves ACOE, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). This collaboration will effect a sequenced restoration effort involving site selection, site restoration. brood stock addition from known genetic lines, evaluation of the stock in the new location for disease tolerance and/or contribution to Cumulative recruitment, and, through adaptive management, will seek to optimize the widespread restoration of the oyster populations in Virginia. This contribution focuses on the importance of site selection in this effort, paying particular attention to the roles of (1) demographics and disease status on fecundity of brood stock, (2) larval feeding and growth rate in high-turbidity conditions typical of low-salinity sanctuaries from disease, (3) ontogenetic changes in larval behavior in such conditions, and (4) the role of estuarine circulation in retaining larvae in regions suitable for subsequent recruitment. We argue that while efforts to develop disease-tolerant brood stock may contribute to restoration efforts. without parallel guiding knowledge of items 1-4 above. efforts at restoration will at best be serendipitous, at worst be doomed to failure, and that site selection in restoration is crucial to success.
Chesapeake Bay; Crassostrea Virginica; Restoration
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Mann, Roger L. and Evans, DA, Site Selection For Oyster Habitat Rehabilitation In The Virginia Portion Of The Chesapeake Bay: A Commentary (2004). Journal Of Shellfish Research, 23(1), 41-49.