Cannot Go Wrong With Eastern Oysters (Crassostrea Virginica): Restoring the Delaware Inland Bays BiodiversityGulnihal Ozbay*, Brian Reckenbeil, Frank Marenghi, and Patrick Erbland
Delaware State University, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Gulnihal Ozbay
Delaware State University
Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources
1200 North DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901 USA
Tel: 1+(302) 857 6476
Fax: 1+(302) 857 6402
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date July 30, 2013; Accepted date August 16, 2013; Published date August 22, 2013
Citation: Ozbay G, Reckenbeil B, Marenghi F, Erbland P (2013) Can’t Go Wrong With Eastern Oysters (Crassostrea virginica): Restoring the Delaware Inland Bays’ Biodiversity. J Biodivers Endanger Species 1:109. doi: 2332-2543.1000109
Copyright: © 2013 Ozbay G, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Crassostrea virginica is notably known for its ability to create complex habitats known as oyster reefs. Oyster reefs provide the primary source of hard bottom habitat along the eastern seaboard
of the United States, yet natural reefs are absent from the Delaware Inland Bays. Oysters form reefs through a positive feed-back loop in which the shell matrix formed by resident oysters provides new substrate for the continual recruitment, settlement, and survival of successive generations. Shellfish beds trap and incorporate shells, sediment, algae, and other floating particles which provide a framework of material for tube-builders, bacteria, microalgae, invertebrates and other benthic species to live within. A variety of fauna utilize these structures for refuge and resource acquisition. Large oyster reefs are analogs to coral reefs, forests, salt marshes, and other habitats that perform critical ecosystem services.