Larval Supply, Settlement, and Post-Settlement Performance as Determinants of the Spatial Distribution of Olympia Oysters (Ostrea lurida) in Coos Bay, OR
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The Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida. was overharvested in the early 20th century and is now the focus of restoration efforts in estuaries along the west coast of North America. These efforts would be aided by a better understanding of larval abundance patterns, settlement behavior, and post-settlement performance of oysters in estuaries throughout its range. In Coos Bay, Oregon, all three of these components of the oyster life cycle were investigated at multiple sites. Like adult oysters, larvae were restricted to the upper portion of the bay, although larvae were supplied to sites in the upper bay where settlement was low. Settlement and post-settlement growth was highest at sites of high adult density. These results indicate that in O. lurida, as in many other marine invertebrates, the adult population is subject to bottlenecks at the larval and juvenile stage that can vary spatially. This thesis contains previously unpublished co-authored material.