Navigation Links
UNH researcher restoring oyster reefs to Great Bay

In the past decade, the oyster population in New Hampshire's Great Bay estuary has plummeted by 90 percent, due to the 1995 arrival of the oyster disease MSX. The previous century saw a slower but equally devastating demise of oysters from exuberant overharvesting. "We have seen local extinction on some reefs," says Ray Grizzle, research associate professor at the University of New Hampshire's Jackson Estuarine Laboratory.

Now Grizzle is working to bring oysters back to Great Bay ?lots of them. He's helping the state of New Hampshire meet its established goal of restoring 20 acres of oyster reefs by 2010. "I hope we're going to have a bay with a healthy oyster population, and we're going to work hard to do it," he says. His research explores which are the best reef restoration techniques for the Great Bay estuarine system (www.oysters.unh.edu).

Oyster reef restoration involves providing sufficient hard substrate ?typically oyster shells on which young oysters settle and grow ?and seeding it with disease-resistant young oysters. Natural oyster reefs are formed by live oysters atop mounds of empty shells; one initiative of Grizzle's lab is soliciting "recycled" empty shells from oyster harvesters that will eventually be returned to the bay to provide substrate.

Grizzle likens his role in oyster reef restoration to an "ecological physician." Just as an orthopedist can set a broken bone but the body must do the healing, he can set up conditions that are right for oyster reefs to prosper, but factors beyond his control ?water quality, larval abundances, and other conditions he's exploring ?play a major role in his success.

At five different restoration sites around the Great Bay estuarine system, Grizzle and his team are experimenting with optimal conditions for reef restoration. One major research question is whether several small or one large reef promote abundance, survival and growth of the larval oysters (called "spat" when they are settled on the reefs). "It's like sodding your lawn versus sprigging it," says Grizzle, adding that the smaller reefs seem to show the best results.

Oyster harvesting in the Great Bay estuary system (http://www.oysters.unh.edu/Graphics/great-bay-map.gif) ?the only oyster habitat in New Hampshire ?is almost exclusively a recreational pursuit, so restoring oyster reefs would have a relatively small impact at the raw bar. However, there are typically several hundred licenses for recreational harvesting issued each year by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Also, the effect on water quality could be significant: Each oyster, says Grizzle, pumps 20 or so gallons of water each day through them, retaining particles as small as a virus. "They're marvelous filters," he says.

Further, he notes that oyster reefs, much like seagrass beds or coral reefs, support a variety of marine life. "Oyster reefs provide all these nooks and crannies for other organisms," he says, including sport fishes. "If we improve the habitat for oysters we can improve the environment."


'"/>

Source:University of New Hampshire


Related biology news :

1. U of M researcher examines newly emerging deadly disease
2. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
3. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
4. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
5. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
6. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
7. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
8. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
9. Agilent Technologies releases automated literature search tool for biology researchers
10. Self-assembled nano-sized probes allow Penn researchers to see tumors through flesh and skin
11. Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/16/2017)... CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in ... ... combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a ... ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... 2017 Brandwatch , the leading social intelligence company, ... Trust to uncover insights to support its reporting, help direct ... The UK,s leading youth charity will be using Brandwatch Analytics social ... a better understanding of the topics and issues that are a ... ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... -- Summary This report provides all the ... its partnering interests and activities since 2010. Download ... Partnering Deals and Alliance since 2010 report provides an ... the world,s leading life sciences companies. On ... inclusion of the most up to date deal and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. ... The study scope includes key agricultural biotechnology ... biology tools and genome editing tools); synthetic biology-enabled chemicals and ... products are analyzed to determine present and future market sizes, ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... California (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... its flagship product, AllegroGraph , has been named a ‘Champion’ by Bloor Research ... is the highest ranked product in its class, and, thanks to Gruff, it was ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... WASHINGTON , March 28, 2017  (AACR17, Booth ... sequencing during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) ... in Washington, D.C. , April 1-5, ... expression of thousands of cells at the individual level. ... Experts on-hand at AACR to discuss expanded next ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 Biostage, ... biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants to treat cancers ... trachea, today announced that Jim McGorry, CEO ... and BioEngineering panel at the MassBio 2017 ... 2:30 PM ET in Cambrige, Massachussetts. The 3D ...
Breaking Biology Technology: