Colonisation success of introduced oysters is driven by wave-related exposure


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Katharina.Teschke [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The Pacific oyster, Magallana gigas, is an extremely successful invader with established populations in marine and estuarine habitats almost all over the world. Ecological implications of the introduction of this species to indigenous communities are well documented. However, the processes by which this species successfully establishes in a recipient community is still insufficiently understood. The early detection of the oyster at the island of Helgoland (North Sea) provided the ideal opportunity to investigate whether physical mechanisms, such as wave exposure, influence their successful colonisation. We hypothesized that oyster colonisation benefits from wave-protected conditions. For this purpose, we evaluated colonisation success of M. gigas among wave-protected sites and wave-exposed sites along the island’s pier system. The densities of M. gigas were significantly higher at wave-protected sites than at wave-exposed sites, and the frequency distributions of oyster lengths indicated better growth and higher survival rates in the harbours. This higher colonisation success at wave-protected sites may be explained by the relative retention time of water masses in the harbours, probably resulting in both reduced larval drift and lower energy demands for secretion formation (i.e. firmer binding to the substrate). The fact that the density of M. gigas can vary greatly on small spatial scales depending on exposure corroborates a multiple exposure sampling approach to monitor oyster populations in order to avoid potential overestimations of population sizes in given areas.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
51551
DOI 10.1007/s10530-020-02246-0

Cite as
Teschke, K. , Karez, R. , Schubert, P. and Beermann, J. (2020): Colonisation success of introduced oysters is driven by wave-related exposure , Biological Invasions, 22 , pp. 2121-2127 . doi: 10.1007/s10530-020-02246-0


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