Inherited growth rates and reproductive traits in oysters

Native oysters on the Pacific coast were devastated by commercial overfishing in the 20th century and their recovery has been prevented by water pollution, habitat loss, and possibly ocean acidification. Efforts underway to restore these Olympia oysters rely on harnessing genetic variation among populations to pick the best suited oysters for restoration. Now a new study shows that, even when reared for two generations under the same laboratory conditions, differences among populations persist. Populations differed substantially in how many viable larvae they produced, when they decided to start spawning, and in larval and juvenile growth rates, with faster growth being traded for lower reproductive output. The research was published in Scientific Reports, and was authored by Katherine Silliman and Tynan Bowyer of the University of Chicago, and SAFS professor Steven Roberts.

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