Crassostrea ariakensis: Panacea or Pandora?
This newsletter is based on research conducted by Dr Mark Luckenbach and a presentation he gave at the Chesapeake Bay Seminar Series in July 2003. The introduction of Crassostrea ariakensis into Chesapeake Bay has been proposed for both economic and ecological gain. Data exists suggesting that C. ariakensis grows significantly faster and is more resistant to the diseases that have devastated the native oyster. However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty regarding species identification, competitive interactions (food and space), ability for larval dispersal, introduction of new diseases, and reef building capabilities. Current knowledge suggests that the most likely outcome of a large scale introduction would be neither panacea nor pandora.