Eric Stewart, Graduate Student

P4080333

Pursuing M.Sc.

To test the effects of constructed oyster habitat in regards of habitat value for the blue crab, Callincectes sapidus, off-bottom aquaculture gear used for the grow-out phase of the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, and subtidal restored Eastern oyster reefs will be comparatively evaluated with each other and relative to shallow unstructured unvegetated soft-sediment seafloor through a replicated field study that will be conducted beginning in summer 2013 over a one-year period at sites within Grand Bay, Portersville Bay, & Bon Secour Bay of Mississippi Sound & Mobile Bay, AL.

Specifically, I will conduct experimental tests and make quantitative observations to determine if 1) blue crabs are attracted to these habitats, 2) they survive differentially among these habitats, and 3) there is a significant effect on blue crab recruitment and landings, and I will also determine what factors might affect each of these.



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