You are here:
OYSTER GROUNDS, A SUPERIOR HABITAT FOR SMALL, SEDIMENT-DWELLING INVERTEBRATES
Ferraro, S P. AND F A. Cole. OYSTER GROUNDS, A SUPERIOR HABITAT FOR SMALL, SEDIMENT-DWELLING INVERTEBRATES. Presented at Annual meeting of National Shellfisheries Association/Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, Silverdale, WA, September 20-22, 2001.
As part of a programmatic effort to determine estuarine habitat values for ecological risk assessments, quantitative field studies of small, sediment-dwelling invertebrates were conducted in Willapa Bay, WA in July 1998 and Tillamook Bay, OR in July 1999. The six habitats included in both studies were (1) "grow out" (2-3 year old) oyster ground culture, (2) eelgrass, Zostera marina, (3) mud shrimp, Upogebia pugettenis, (4) ghost shrimp, Neotrypaea californiensis, (5) bare mud, and (6) subtidal, undredged. About fifteen 0.01 m2 ? 5-cm deep, 0.5 mm mesh samples were collected randomly in each habitat throughout both estuaries.
Multivariate analyses of the data revealed that the invertebrate fauna on oyster grounds was much more similar to that in eelgrass and mud shrimp habitat than that in ghost shrimp, bare mud and subtidal habitat. Among the six habitats studied, oyster grounds consistently ranked either first or second in terms of the number of species, abundance and total biomass of invertebrates. Oyster grounds, which have high economic value in terms of oyster production, are also ecologically valuable as they provide a superior habitat for small invertebrates upon which many larger animals (e.g., fish, crabs, waterfowl) feed.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION
PACIFIC COASTAL ECOLOGY BRANCH