Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Louisiana
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources


Marshall, DA, La Peyre MK. 2020. Effects of inundation duration on oyster reefs in southeastern Louisiana. Experimental Results.

Abstract

Understanding the effects of predicted rising sea levels, combined with changes in precipitation and freshwater inflow, on key estuarine ecosystem engineers such as the eastern oyster would provide critical information to inform restoration design and predictive models. Using oyster ladders with shell bags placed at three heights to capture a range of inundation levels, oyster growth of naturally recruited spat was monitored over the course of 6 months. Oyster numbers and heights were consistently highest in bottom and mid bags experiencing greater than 50% inundation (mid: 63 ± 7 %; bottom: 95 ± 3 %). Identifying thresholds for optimal oyster growth and survival to enhance restoration engineering would require finer scale evaluation of inundation levels.