The European oyster (Ostrea edulis) and its epibiotic succession

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  • D. Smyth
    Queen's University, Belfast
  • D. Roberts
    Queen's University, Belfast
This study aimed to investigate intra- and inter-site differences in the epibiota on the European oyster Ostrea edulis of different ages and on hard substrata to assess their contribution to biodiversity. This research has shown that shells of O. edulis do show higher species diversity than non-living hard substrata and as oysters grow larger epibiotic diversity will increase. This investigation has revealed that O. edulis possesses biogenic engineering qualities and the value of O. edulis as a vehicle for increasing biodiversity should not be underestimated. Relatively few studies have examined the shell surfaces of Ostrea edulis, which, together with their associated epifauna provide a large portion of the natural hard substrata for sessile filter-feeding organisms, including oysters, in coastal and estuarine ecosystems. It can be considered a keystone species which has an influence on intertidal and subtidal community structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Early online date17 Aug 2010
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes
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