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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: 2.33). 02/2010; 69(1):1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2009.07.002
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ABSTRACT 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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    • "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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