Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Biological Sciences


Biological Sciences

Major Professor

DeVries, Philip J.

Second Advisor

Soniat, Thomas M.

Third Advisor

Penz, Carla M.


Salinity (S) and temperature (T) control every facet of the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) life cycle, principally reproduction, development, growth, and mortality. Previous studies conducted in in the Breton Sound (BR) and Barataria (BA) estuaries have reported differences in growth and mortality rates between the basins. In the present study, environmental conditions were synchronized to compare growth and mortality rates between basins at similar combinations of T and S. Results indicate that when T and S are the same (synchronized), seasonal oyster growth and mortality rates differ between BR and BA. Seasonal analyses revealed that as salinities increased in both estuaries, growth rates generally increased, while mortality rates generally decreased. These findings suggest that basin-wide adaptations to local environmental conditions may exist.


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