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Oyster Dispersal and Meta-Population Dynamics in Pamlico Sound: Settlement, Survival and Spawning Potential (Part II)Download Full Report
Principal Investigator Name: Eugene Ballance, David Eggleston
Project #: 06-EP-03
Funding Period Begin: 05/15/2006 End: 05/14/2007
Primary Category: Environmental Pilot
State Funding: $62168.00
Populations of oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in North Carolina have reached historic lows and the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is building new oyster reefs in Pamlico Sound to be used as unfished broodstock spawning sanctuaries for oyster restoration. It is not yet known whether the new sanctuaries will support self-sustaining populations, seed other areas in Pamlico Sound, or both. The lack of population data on N.C.'s oyster broodstock sanctuaries is a major limitation to effective implementation of oyster population rebuilding efforts and the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan that was recently passed by the N.C. legislature. They will be using data that is developed through a Sea Grant-funded proposal.
The overall goals of this study are to determine the potential for sanctuaries to subsidize populations of oysters in other sanctuaries and quantify population dynamics in existing oyster sanctuaries. Specifically, the researchers propose to (1) map the spatial extent and topography of six oyster sanctuaries in Pamlico Sound; (2) quantify spatiotemporal variation in oyster demographic rates at the six spawning sanctuaries; and (3) use information from the previous goal to refine a metapopulation model of oyster broodstock sanctuaries for Pamlico Sound that assesses the effectiveness of existing reserves.