Introduction, establishment and expansion of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas in the Oosterschelde (SW Netherlands)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas was first introduced as an exotic species by oyster farmers in 1964 in the Oosterschelde estuary (SW Netherlands). The initial phase is not well documented but first natural spatfall was recorded in 1975. Excessive spatfall occurred in 1976 and this is considered the start of the expansion phase of the wild oysters. Oyster beds in intertidal and subtidal areas of the Oosterschelde estuary have been growing since. The development in the intertidal area has been reconstructed by using aerial photography, validated by ground truth in 2000¿2002. In the subtidal areas extensive oyster beds have been detected by using side scan sonar; on hard substrates along the dikes coverage with oysters up to 90% locally has been recorded by scuba diving surveys. Expansion has also occurred into adjacent water bodies including the Wadden Sea. By forming resistant reefs the oysters induce structural changes in the ecosystem. It is concluded that bed area is still expanding while decrease of the fraction live animals may indicate adjustment of the stock size to the local conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-83
JournalHelgolander Marine Research
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • wadden sea

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Introduction, establishment and expansion of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas in the Oosterschelde (SW Netherlands)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this