Electronic versions

  • Claire Guy
    Queen's University, Belfast
  • David Smyth
    Queen's University, Belfast
  • Dai Roberts
    Queen's University, Belfast
Fertilization success will determine the rate at which a population can expand and is especially important when considering small, establishing or enduring communities. Introduced species frequently fail to establish reproductively functional populations due to strong Allee effects associated with low densities. The native European oyster, Ostrea edulis broods its fertilized eggs in the pallial cavity for a period of 8–10 days before releasing the larvae. It is considered a partial broadcast spawner and was used as a model species to assess the importance of Allee effects such as inter-individual distance on reproductive success. Distances between individual oysters within test plots in areas of known oyster density were used in conjunction with standardized brood size (n larvae g−1 total wet weight) to assess fertilization success. A significant, positive relationship was observed between brood size and oyster density. Oysters with a nearest neighbour ≤1.5 m were found to brood significantly more larvae than individuals with nearest neighbours ≥1.5 m. Therefore, high density sites need to be maintained to ensure the recovery and enhancement of this OSPAR Convention recognized species in decline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-593
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes
View graph of relations