7. Research Needs

The following are suggested as future research needs:

  1. Assessment methods: a formal prospectus/protocol for the evaluation of side scan in oyster surveys.

  2. An evaluation of random, fixed station and adaptive sampling regimes to optimize assessment data collection in the field in a limited sampling suite. 

  3. Develop age at length estimators for the Rappahannock River, and Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds in VA. Employ these to recast length demographic data as age demographic data.

  4. Examine age specific growth and mortality rates in parallel with disease prevalence and intensity data. Recent collaborative efforts at VIMS and Maryland Department of Natural Resources have compared historical archives and can hind cast disease impact based on a bay-wide 6-point scale for Dermo. These can be used in a comprehensive examination of age based mortality and (b) historic records of mortality based on box counts for long term sentinel locations.

  5. Stock recruit relationship: consideration of the role of protandry, sperm versus egg limitation, and size demographics

  6. Consideration of the roles of habitat dynamics and disease in the S/R relationship. Is this a modified sigmoid “plot” rather then a density independent relationship?

  7. BRP’s for shell equilibrium: assignment of required shell production rates to maintain reef topography commensurate with sea level rise, exploration of shell: sediment ratio in reef substructure and identify range of taphonomic loss rates in extant reef systems.

  8. Examination of the recruit (YOY) versus total substrate and YOY versus live shell relationship.