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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301968

Title: Assessing the contribution of aquaculture and restoration to wild oyster populations in Rhode Island

item JARIS, HANNAH - Columbia University
item BROWN, DAVID - Nature Conservancy
item GOMEZ-CHIARRI, MARTA - University Of Rhode Island
item Proestou, Dina

Submitted to: Journal of Shellfish Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2014
Publication Date: 8/1/2014
Citation: Jarris, H., Brown, D., Gomez-Chiarri, M., Proestou, D.A. 2014. Assessing the contribution of aquaculture and restoration to wild oyster populations in Rhode Island. Journal of Shellfish Research. 33(2):620.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The decline of the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) has led to renewed interest in restoration and aquaculture efforts. Recent field surveys suggest that wild populations in Rhode Island are increasing, yet the factors contributing to expansion are unknown. We used molecular tools to determine if the expansion of wild populations is a result of self-seeding or a consequence of recruitment from nearby aquaculture and restoration sites. Samples were collected from eight populations within a large coastal lagoon highly influenced by human activity. Three “wild” populations located varying distances from restoration and aquaculture activities were compared to two restored and three aquaculture populations. A ninth population, collected from a site free from intense human activity was included to serve as a control. Adult oysters (Shell Height=75 mm; n=30) collected in early June from each of the nine populations, and oyster spat (SH=25 mm; n=30) collected in late September from the four wild populations were genotyped at 14 microsatellite loci. From the multilocus genotype data we measured the extent of variation within and differentiation among populations by estimating a number of genetic parameters. Assignment tests were also used to assign spat to source populations. These analyses will provide a better understanding of the factors responsible for the enhancement of wild oyster populations in Rhode Island coastal ponds. Furthermore, knowledge of how specific human activities contribute to the genetic diversity of standing wild oyster stocks can help evaluate the success of restoration and aquaculture activities.