Water, Wetlands, and Watersheds Seminar
Feb 28st, 11:45am-12:30pm, Phelps Lab 101
Parasites, pests, and predators, Oh My! Biotic influences of oyster populations
John Carroll, Assistant Professor
Department of Biology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Oysters are commercially valuable shellfish that form extensive reefs and provide a number of ecosystem services along the US East and Gulf coasts. Despite their importance, oyster populations have declined dramatically throughout most of their range, primarily due to overharvest and disease. There are a number of other factors that can influence oyster populations, including both environmental conditions such as salinity and sedimentation, and also biotic factors such as parasites, pests and predators. For example, a small, ectoparasitic snail has been demonstrated to significantly reduce oyster spat growth. Similarly, the presence of boring sponges reduces oyster growth and condition, and may alter the susceptibility of oysters to other biotic stressors like pea crabs. Together, these pests and parasites likely prolong the window of vulnerability to oyster predators, particularly small mesopredators which contribute most of the oyster consumption on intertidal oyster reefs. In sum, these biotic stressors can have significant impacts on oyster populations and thus have potential management implications.
John Carroll is an assistant professor of biology at Georgia Southern University, and he studies marine and restoration ecology with a focus on shellfish species. Dr. Carroll is a benthic ecologist, broadly interested in how shellfish interact with other species and their environments, and how that impacts their populations and resilience. In particular, his focus has been on how changing habitats - primarily due to anthropogenic impacts - affect the recruitment, survival, and growth of a number of commercially important shellfish species. Dr. Carroll's research program seeks to bridge basic ecological theory and applied problems in order to better manage and restore shellfish populations.
Please see our website for the seminar schedule and recordings of past seminars (http://cfw.essie.ufl.edu/seminars/).
Sharlynn Sweeney, MLIS, PhD
Center for Environmental Policy and
Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands
University of Florida