Throughout the United States, shellfish aquaculture is being incorporated into best management practices due to the demonstrated positive effects bivalves have on water quality through suspension feeding. Farm-scale and ecosystem-scale models are useful tools that allow resource managers to better understand filtration capacity and shellfish aquaculture’s effect on water quality, while also helping growers make farm practice decisions to improve production. To generate the most accurate model predictions, it is preferred to collect data specific to the cultivated species and site. This is the first study to examine a full individual energy budget for the triploid Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, with implications for shellfish aquaculture in the southeastern United States. The goal of the study was to examine the effects of temperatures and salinities specific to southeastern North Carolina on physiological processes of the cultured Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. Physiological rates, such as: clearance rate (CR), egestion rate (ER), oxygen consumption rate (OCR), and ammonia excretion rate (AER), were determined for cultivated oysters in laboratory experiments supplied with estuarine water at varying temperatures and salinities. These rates were then combined to examine “scope for growth” to estimate under which environmental conditions these oysters had maximum energy for growth.
About this document
This 2019 thesis was written by Jessica Kinsella in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Marine Science. Jessica's research was partially supported by a Science Collaborative project. Her thesis represents the first study to examine a full individual energy budget for the triploid Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, with implications for shellfish aquaculture in the southeastern United States.
Kinsella, Jessica D. 2019. Environmental Effects on Cultured Oyster Crassostrea virginica: Implications for Filtration Capacity and Production. Master's thesis, University of North Carolina Wilmington.