Refining the tethering of American oysters (Crassostrea virginica) to measure the effects of two environmental stressors

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Luke A. Poirier
  • Shane T.C. Gilbert
  • Jeff Davidson
  • Ruth Cox
  • Pedro A. Quijón

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-164
Journal / PublicationMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume127
Online published6 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Tethering assays, or the physical restraint of test organisms, has been used in the past to measure selected organisms’ response to stressors while removing the observer from the experimental setting. Although informative for monitoring and hypothesis testing, these assays often used microfilaments that have been found to be too invasive or prone to biases given their effects on test organisms’ behavior. Here, we describe a new variation of tethering using American oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and illustrate its use in the study of their mortality rates as a result of two stressors: siltation and predation by a non-indigenous species. Our protocol identified a resistant (non-toxic) glue that could be used to attach oysters to stone slabs, thus partially mimicking the natural cementation of the shell to natural substrates. This variation of tethering was harmless and maintained oysters’ body position and natural ability to filter feed. Using tethered oysters in separate two-week field cage experiments, we also show how siltation and predation by a non-indigenous species (the European green crab, Carcinus maenas), caused a gradual, easily measurable increase in oyster mortality rates. We argue that this variation of tethering is a cost-effective and advantageous way to monitor or test the effects of these and other stressors on oysters and similar species.

Research Area(s)

  • American oyster, Atlantic Canada, Green crab predation, Siltation, Tethering

Citation Format(s)

Refining the tethering of American oysters (Crassostrea virginica) to measure the effects of two environmental stressors. / Poirier, Luke A.; Gilbert, Shane T.C.; St-Hilaire, Sophie; Davidson, Jeff; Cox, Ruth; Quijón, Pedro A.

In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 127, 02.2018, p. 160-164.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review