Oyster transplants reveal hidden diversity among native oysters

Native oysters are important players in many nearshore ocean ecosystems, but their numbers are declining worldwide. Restoration success depends on how well oysters survive when transplanted to new habitats. In a new experiment, native Olympia oysters were transplanted among oyster regions in Puget Sound in a reciprocal fashion to see how this affected their survival, growth, and reproduction. There were substantial differences in each small population of Olympia oysters within Puget Sound, providing information on which source population would be best suited for broad-scale oyster restoration in the region. The work by SAFS Masters student Jake Heare, researcher Brent Vadopalas, and Prof. Steven Roberts, together with Brady Blake of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Jonathan Davis of the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, appears in the journal Marine Ecology.

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