Oysters are important to estuarine ecosystems because of the functions they provide. Thus, oyster restoration projects are undertaken in areas where natural populations have declined. However, restoration techniques can impact sediment organic matter and benthic invertebrates that provide trophic support for important species. This study assesses the impacts of a constructed shell bed on associated sediment and invertebrate communities in a southern California bay. Within the bed site, organic matter, invertebrate abundance, and invertebrate species richness are lower only under the oyster bed. The alteration in the community under the shell is driven by a reduction in species. Tubificidae were the only remaining species under the shell. These results may be explained by the shells’ action as a barrier to the mud-water interface. While significant, impacts of oyster bed construction are spatially restricted to just under the bed. Longer-term studies should be conducted to address effects of the oysters themselves.
|Advisor:||Whitcraft, Christine R.|
|Commitee:||Pernet, Bruno G., Zacherl, Danielle C.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biology, Biological oceanography, Environmental management|
|Keywords:||Ecosystem restoration, Infauna, Olympia, Oyster|
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