Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Journal Of Shellfish Research
The vertical distribution of late stage, or pediveliger, larvae of several bivalve mollusks was examined in a west Florida estuary. The study site was an artificial canal, and the water was shallow (1.5 in) and well mixed, with only modest currents. Pediveligers of three bivalve taxa were collected: the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica; the crested oyster Ostrea equestris; and unidentified shipworms (Teredinidae). Despite the shallow and well-mixed water column, larvae exhibited vertical zonation, with most larvae of all three species collected from lower in the water column. The larvae of C. virginica and shipworms showed no significant effect of time of day, but larvae of O. equestris reversed their distribution pattern at night, with most larvae being near the surface. Pediveliger larvae were not behaving as neutrally buoyant particles but appeared to regulate their depth even in this well-mixed and shallow water column. Given that the larvae of the two oyster species were probably competent to settle, their vertical distribution patterns do not fit what has been reported about their adult depth distribution.
Crassostrea Virginica; Estuary; Larvae; Ostrea Equestris; Pediveliger; Plankton; Teredinidae
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Baker, P, Two Species Of Oyster Larvae Show Different Depth Distributions In A Shallow, Well-Mixed Estuary (2003). Journal Of Shellfish Research, 22(3), 733-736.