The effects of nutrient enrichment on oyster ecology in Mobile Bay

Project Leader: Dr. Ruth Carmichael

Project Details

Native shellfish and land available for harvesting or aquaculture are declining due to habitat degradation and shellfish area closures. Wastewater is the anthropogenic (human-derived) N source that has had the greatest documented effect on shellfish growth and survival by affecting food supply and habitat. For this project, we:

  • Defined effects of N loads on food supply and habitat for oysters,
  • Measured effects on oyster growth and survival,
  • Linked shellfish responses to N sources such as wastewater,
  • Identified nutritionally important components of oyster diet, and
  • Determines the space and time scales of effects

This project is funded by the Alabama Oyster Reef & Fisheries Habitat Enhancement Program of the University of South Alabama.