This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Evaluating the Effect of Larval Period Duration upon the Subsequent Performance of Cultured Eastern Oysters, Crassostrea Virginica




Bisker, Kelsey A.

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures


With the increase in oyster aquaculture in the United States, it is important to understand the potential effects of larval experiences on the field performance of Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) to maximize hatchery production and field grow-out performance. To test the relationship between larval duration period and subsequent performance, three different groups of oyster larvae were produced from a single spawn at the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory (Dauphin Island, AL) based on the number of days required by larvae (n > 900,000) to become pediveligers. The performance of these three groups was monitored at 1) metamorphosis & setting, 2) in land-based early nursery culture and 3) in field grow-out at three different sites in Alabama. Initially, larval duration did not affect performance of post-metamorphic growth (p = 0.35), but there was an affect in growth rate in the land-based nursery culture (p = 0.014). However, in the field grow-out culture, there was no significant effect of larval duration period on quality variables at the experimental sites (p > 0.05). This evaluation and understanding factors that affect larval performance will further help commercial hatchery production and farming yields.