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Scaredy-Oysters: In Situ Documentation of an Oyster Behavioral Response to Predators

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare J. M. Carroll
Jeff C. Clements
Publicerad i Southeastern Naturalist
Volym 18
Nummer/häfte 3
Sidor N21-N26
ISSN 1528-7092
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Sven Lovén centrum för marina vetenskaper
Institutionen för biologi och miljövetenskap
Sidor N21-N26
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1656/058.018.0303
Ämnesord crassostrea-virginica, inducible defenses, mussels, plasticity, say, Biodiversity & Conservation, Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Ämneskategorier Ekologi

Sammanfattning

Non-consumptive effects of predators on prey populations have received increased interest in recent years. For Crassostrea virginica (Eastern Oyster), much of the focus has been on induced morphological defenses (e.g., shell thickening). Here, we provide in situ documentation of a behavioral response of Eastern Oysters (valve closure) to the threat of predation on a natural reef. This behavioral response, while intuitive, has been largely ignored in the literature despite potential impacts on individual oyster health by affecting feeding and subsequently energy assimilation, reproductive condition, and growth. In situ photographs revealed that, under natural conditions, Eastern Oysters closed during the passive presence of a crab mate-guarding pair and took similar to 5 minutes to reopen to pre-predator gapes. Given that multiple oysters in our photos reacted similarly, this behavioral response may scale up to have effects on the population and the ecosystem services that Eastern Oysters provide. Ultimately, our observations open the door to a number of testable hypotheses regarding a predator's non-consumptive effects on oyster reefs.

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