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Growth and reproductive investment of introduced Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas in southern European waters
Cardoso, J.F.M.F.; Peralta, N.R.E.; Machado, J.P.; van der Veer, H.W. (2013). Growth and reproductive investment of introduced Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas in southern European waters. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 118: 24-30. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2012.12.017
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg, 1793) [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Crassostrea gigas; growth and reproduction; spawning; body condition;seasonal cycle; Portugal and Spain

Authors  Top 
  • Cardoso, J.F.M.F., more
  • Peralta, N.R.E.
  • Machado, J.P.
  • van der Veer, H.W., more

Abstract
    Growth and reproductive investment of cultured Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas were studied in two south-western European estuaries: the Ria de Ribadeo in Spain and the Ria Formosa in Portugal. Developing gonads were found in individuals >23.5 mm shell length in the Ria Formosa and >27.5 mm shell length in the Ria de Ribadeo. Although the amount of gonadal mass in relation to total body mass was higher in the Ria de Ribadeo, oysters from this location did not spawn completely. In contrast, oysters from the Ria Formosa completely emptied their gonad during spawning. Reproduction and, consequently, the maximum potential for population expansion may be constrained in both areas: in the Ria de Ribadeo due to suboptimal spawning threshold temperatures and in the Ria Formosa due to higher metabolic costs caused by warmer winter temperatures. Nevertheless, in comparison to northern oyster populations, Portuguese and Spanish populations have higher reproductive output. If suitable environmental conditions are met, expansion of Portuguese and Spanish populations will most likely occur. In the Ria Formosa, where environmental conditions for growth and reproduction are favourable, wild oysters are already observed. In order to follow the dynamics of oyster populations and predict possible negative effects on the ecosystems, it is important to continue monitoring the physiological performance of C. gigas in these areas.

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