Spatial trends in community and health-related characteristics of Galveston Bay oyster reefs
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The spatial trends in the oyster community and healthrelated variables for Galveston Bay oyster reefs indicated that some other factors in addition to salinity are major structuring forces. Three different directional trends were found including one diametric to salinity. Cluster analyses, taking into account all measured variables, produced groupings primarily defined by salinity, and secondarily by region along the salinity gradient. Comparison of Perkinsus marinus analyses by the standard thioglycollate method and by the whole body count method showed that the standard method produced false negatives in many samples taken throughout the bay, probably due to low infection intensities associated with low salinity at the time of collection. Even after correcting for the false negatives, average Perkinsus marinus prevalence for the bay was unusually low (52.6%) compared to previous studies. Examination of different oyster size classes is important for the best estimate of P. marinus infection intensity and prevalence. Based on the variables directly related to oyster health and production, four regions:the Redfish Bar area, the Yacht Club Reef area, the Dickinson Embayment, and the Houston Ship Channel, maintained the healthiest oyster populations in terms of density, biomass, and gonadal state. Sites at the extremes of the salinity range such as in Trinity Bay, upper East Bay, and West Bay were characterized by oyster populations in poorer condition.
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Includes bibliographical references.
Song, Junggeun (1994). Spatial trends in community and health-related characteristics of Galveston Bay oyster reefs. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from