Effects of Freshwater Flooding on Eastern Oyster Populations in a Texas Estuary

Relative abundance of Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) was monitored before, during, and after a record flood in a Texas estuary. Salinities were reduced to <5 ppt over a large portion of the estuary for 4 months. Eastern oyster mortality was near 100%. Spat set was documented 9 months after flooding ceased and the oyster population had recovered to preflood levels 15 months later, 25 months after flooding ceased. A Ricker recruitment curve was fitted to the spawner-recruit data and explained 20.8% of the variation in number of spat.

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