Observations on the Expansion of a Relict Population of Eastern Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in a Maine Estuary: Implications for Climate Change and Restoration

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Northeast Naturalist


In this contribution, we describe the circumstances whereby tidal restoration made available 2.5 linear km of new habitat area to the relict oyster population of the Marsh River, ME, the northernmost documented native oyster population in the United States. Oysters recruited to the new habitat quickly, demonstrating the restoration potential of isolated, relict populations. The resultant larger population size and areal extent should provide increased stability and survivability of the oyster and its associated community. These observations have implications for both the restoration potential of relict oyster populations and the consequences of climate change.