Oysters are keystone species in the coastal environment, providing ecological, economic, and cultural services. A significant ecosystem service is their ability to improve water quality by filtration and denitrification. These ecological functions are made possible by oyster-associated microbes, but may also be threatened by microbial pathogens. This positions the oyster as a model system for the study of marine host-associated microbial diversity and function. However, studies of microbial diversity and function in shellfish are lacking, particularly in response to environmental perturbations. As coastal ecosystems change due to anthropogenic impacts and climate variability, it is important to understand how the oyster microbiome is affected and how this may impact the host. This dissertation emphasizes the significance of oyster-associated microbiomes and their importance to aquaculture disease prevention, wild fishery sustainability, and coastal restoration efficacy. As urbanization, coastal acidification, and disease outbreaks increase, it is important to understand these oyster-associated microbial community dynamics and how they might vary with environmental change.
Stevick, R.J.. “OYSTER-ASSOCIATED MICROBIAL COMMUNITY DYNAMICS” (2019). Open Access Dissertations. Paper 1089. https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/oa_diss/1089