Completed Research: Oyster Reef Communities

The  goal of the oyster reef community research project was to understand  oyster reef function from an ecological perspective. This project:

  • Established a baseline description of the oyster reef community by intensively sampling representatives of different trophic levels on Palace Bar Reef
  • Characterized faunal abundance and distribution patterns in relation to seasonal, tidal, and diurnal scales
  • Compared community structure on Palace Bar Reef with two non-reef habitats within the Piankatank River
  • Continued long-term oyster monitoring efforts in the Piankatank River to enable the data from current studies to be placed in proper perspective

Specific research projects completed:

  • Comparison of reef oyster population post-restoration with local natural non-reef oyster populations
  • Description of reef associated zooplankton community
  • Examination of seasonal dynamics and larval production estimates for oysters and benthic reef fishes
  • Evaluation of feeding selectivity by larval reef fishes
  • Comparison of blue crab abundance on the reef in relation to two local non-reef sites
  • Evaluation of reef habitat use by pelagic finfishes in the context of essential fish habitat parameters. Fish species of interest included: bluefish, striped bass, weakfish, Atlantic croaker, spot, Atlantic menhaden, and spotted seatrout among others.

Related oyster monitoring programs

Related oyster restoration tools

Research partners and co-sponsors

Related Links
Publications for Restoration and Carbonate Shell Budgets