Rising water temperatures, reproduction and recruitment of an invasive oyster, Crassostrea gigas, on the French Atlantic coast

Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Universités, Équipe Mer-Molécules-Santé EA 2160, Faculté des Sciences et des Techniques, 2 rue de la Houssinière, BP 92208, Nantes 44322, France
Marine environmental research (Impact Factor: 2.76). 02/2010; 69(1):1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2009.07.002
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The recent appearance and invasion of feral oysters (Crassostrea gigas) along the northern European Atlantic coast, underscores the necessity to investigate the relationship between environmental variables, reproductive physiology, larval development and recruitment. We studied these relationships at both high (HT) and intermediate (IT) – turbidity sites, through historical data on water temperatures, multi-parameter environmental probes, histological analyses, and field collections of planktonic larvae and settled post-larvae in 2005 and 2006. A progressive warming trend was observed, especially since 1995, when oyster proliferation first became severe. Threshold temperatures for oocyte growth, larval development and settlement were achieved in both 2005 and 2006. The HT site showed greater numbers of larvae and post-larvae than the IT site for both years, with the highest numbers of post-larvae observed at both sites during the warmer summer of 2006. These results suggest that increased temperatures in northern European waters allow successful reproduction, larval development, and recruitment of C. gigas. High turbidity conditions further enhance this success.

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Available from: Barillé Laurent, Jan 29, 2014
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    • "However, early life stages are generally more vulnerable (de Rivera et al. 2007). For example, suboptimal temperatures were found to negatively affect spawning, larval development, spatfall and subsequent juvenile survival in Crassostrea gigas, and this has led to the recruitment failure in some regions (Spencer et al. 1994; Child and Laing 1998; Diederich et al. 2005; Dutertre et al. 2010). Conditions, however, need to be suitable for all life cycle stages so that recruitment, and hence spread of the species into a new environment, can be successful. "
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    ABSTRACT: The establishment and spread of a non-native species in an introduced range depends to a large extent on the performance of the species under the prevailing environmental conditions. The spawning, larval and spatfall periods of the invasive gastropod Crepidula fornicata were monitored in the intertidal zone at its northernmost range in Wales, UK, between February 2010 and January 2011. The duration of the reproductive season was similar to that recorded from more southerly European populations. Spawning and larval release occurred throughout most of the year even at low seawater temperatures of <7 °C, but benthic recruitment was observed over a much shorter period at seawater temperatures >16 °C. Recruitment was low and likely controlled by post-settlement mortality. These observations suggest that C. fornicata’s northwards spread in Welsh waters will not be limited by seawater temperature negatively affecting reproduction, but by processes acting after larval release. These data show the importance of incorporating settlement and post-settlement processes into studies on recruitment success when aiming to predict the potential spread of a potentially harmful invader such as C. fornicata.
    Marine Biology 09/2012; 159(9). DOI:10.1007/s00227-012-1997-3 · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    • "C.J.M. Philippart et al. / Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science xxx (2012) 1e12 8 Please cite this article in press as: Philippart, C.J.M., et al., Spatial synchronies in the seasonal occurrence of larvae of oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and mussels (Mytilus edulis/galloprovincialis) in European coastal waters, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (2012), doi:10.1016/ j.ecss.2012.05.014 (Pouvreau et al., 2006; Cardoso et al., 2007; Enríquez-Díaz et al., 2009; Troost et al., 2009; Dutertre et al., 2010). The second best but comparably good model (Fig. 4) suggested that larvae exhibit one seasonal trend and one underlying latitudinal effect in probability of occurrence, while the third best model (Fig. 5) suggested that oyster larvae also occurred earlier at higher latitudes in the range of those tested. "
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    ABSTRACT: Reproductive cycles of marine invertebrates with complex life histories are considered to be synchronized by water temperature and feeding conditions, which vary with season and latitude. This study analyses seasonal variation in the occurrence of oyster (Crassostrea gigas) and mussel (Mytilus edulis/ galloprovincialis) larvae across European coastal waters at a synoptic scale (1000s of km) using standardised methods for sampling and molecular analyses. We tested a series of hypotheses to explain the observed seasonal patterns of occurrence of bivalve larvae at 12 European stations (located between 37� N and 60� N and 27� W and 18� E). These hypotheses included a model that stated that there was no synchronisation in seasonality of larval presence at all between the locations (null hypothesis), a model that assumed that there was one common seasonality pattern for all stations within Europe, and various models that supposed that the variation in seasonality could be grouped according to specific spatial scales (i.e., latitude, large marine ecosystems and ecoregions), taxonomic groups, or several combinations of these factors. For oysters, the best models explaining the presence/absence of larvae in European coastal waters were (1) the model that assumed one common seasonal pattern, and (2) the one that, in addition to this common pattern, assumed an enhanced probability of occurrence from south to north. The third best model for oysters, with less empirical support than the first two, stated that oysters reproduced later in the south than in the north. For mussels, the best models explaining the seasonality in occurrence of larvae were (1) the model that assumed four underlying trends related to large marine ecosystems, and (2) the one that assumed one common seasonal pattern for larvae occurrence throughout Europe. Such synchronies in larval occurrences suggest that environmental conditions relevant to bivalve larval survival are more or less similar at large spatial scales from 100s to 1000s of km. To unravel the underlying mechanisms for this synchronisation is of particular interest in the light of changing environmental conditions as the result of global climate change and the possible consequences for marine food webs and ecosystem services.
    Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 08/2012; 108:52-63. DOI:10.1016/j.ecss.2012.05.014 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    • "Oysters attach to mussel shells and also form local aggregates , attaching to whatever hard substrates may be available (Diederich 2006). Within this region, the spread of oysters is likely facilitated by climatic change and higher water temperatures (Diederich et al. 2005; Nehls et al. 2006; Buttger et al. 2008; Dutertre et al. 2010). Crassostrea gigas mineralizes a great deal of shell material that is resistant to dissolution and can alter the physical structure of soft-sediment habitats. "
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    ABSTRACT: The introduction of non-native species represents unprecedented large-scale experiments that allow us to examine ecological systems in ways that would otherwise not be possible. Invasion by novel ecological types into a community can press a system beyond the bounds normally seen and can reveal community interactions, local drivers and limits within systems that are otherwise hidden by coevolution and a long evolutionary history among local players, as well as local adaptation of species. The success of many invaders is attributed to their ability to thrive in a wide range of habitat types and physical conditions, setting the stage for direct examination of ecological impacts of a species across a range of habitat and community contexts. Bivalves are well-known ecosystem engineers, especially oysters, which are the target of wild-caught fisheries and aquaculture. The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, is grown worldwide for aquaculture, and is presently invading shores on virtually every continent. As a consequence, this non-native species is having large impacts on many systems, but the types of impacts are system specific, and greatly depend on substrate type, how physiologically stressful the environment is for intertidal zone species, and the presence of native engineering species. A novel type of engineering effect is identified for this non-native species, whereby it alters not only the physical environment, but also the thermal environment of the community it invades. The impacts of engineering by this non-native species will depend not only on whether it facilitates or inhibits species but also on the trophic level and ecological role of the species affected, and whether similar ecological types are found within the system.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 08/2010; 50(2):213-25. DOI:10.1093/icb/icq080 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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