Noise Affects Baby Oysters

Noise Affects Baby Oysters

The types we eat are among the most nutritious foods – rich in protein, zinc, iron, calcium, vitamins A and B. Oysters provide a habitat to serve and feed other sea creatures; their reef structures stabilize shorelines; and each of the mollusks can filter 40 to 60 gallons of seawater a day.

Now there’s new potential to learn more about oysters and ocean reef environments. For the past four years, Ashlee Lillis, a Ph.D. candidate in marine science at N.C. State, has literally dived into a little-explored aspect of oyster settlement: how the sounds of an undersea ocean reef can attract larval (baby) oysters to a permanent home.

To her knowledge, “no one works with effects of sound on oyster larvae,” said Lillis, the project’s lead researcher. “The other work being done is all in coral reefs and on fish. So no one in this country or hemisphere is looking at the influence of sound on marine invertebrates.”

She said her team found an increased settlement rate – in both the laboratory and the wild – when the larvae were exposed to reef sounds. Determining precisely how the noise affects the baby oysters could lead to strategies for establishing new oyster beds, she said, as well as for monitoring the health of the undersea reefs.

Read more here about how noise affects baby oysters.

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