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Northeastern Naturalist


Eagle Hill Institute

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Stuben, ME, USA

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Abstract/ Summary

The Gulf of Maine has undergone dramatic physiographic and oceanographic changes over the last several millenia resulting in some unusual biogeographic consequences. One is that there are pockets of Virginian species, including Crassostra virginica (Eastern Oyster), that survive in isolated warm water pockets, usually at the heads of estuaries. These small and vulnerable populations need documentation, protection, and restoration in order to preserve their genetic characteristics and ecological services. In this contribution, we describe the circumstances whereby tidal restoration made available 2.5 linear km of new habitat area to the relict oyster population of the Marsh River, ME, the northernmost documented native oyster population in the United States. Oysters recruited to the new habitat quickly, demonstrating the restoration potential of isolated, relict populations. The resultant larger population size and areal extent should provide increased stability and survivability of the oyster and its associated community. These observations have implications for both the restoration potential of relict oyster populations and the consequences of climate change.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

"Larsen, P., Wilson, K.A., & Morse, D. 2013. Observations on the Expansion of a Relict Population of Eastern Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in a Maine Estuary: Implications for Climate Change and Restoration. Northeast Naturalist, 20(4):N28-N32. 2013 "

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© 2013 Eagle Hill Institute



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In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.