Changes in benthic macrofauna in oyster parks during an OsHV-1 μVar oyster spat mortality outbreak

In intertidal areas, oyster farming creates a crosshatching pattern between oyster tables and aisles. Tables provide a refuge from the current and solar irradiance and the oysters facilitate the accumulation of OM, thereby structuring the spatial organization of the associated macrozoobenthic community at mesoscale. The aim of this study was to describe the quality of the oyster table environment at small scale and the response of the macrozoobenthic community to OsHV-1 μvar oyster mortality. The species assemblage was dominated by Golfingia vulgaris, Tubificoides benedii, Capitella capitata and Scoloplos armiger. The table habitat appeared to be in a bad ecological state throughout the 2-month survey (May and June 2017), whereas in the aisle, eutrophication occurred lately and was clearly related to be due to the massive stranding of dead seaweed at the end of the survey (in early July). So, this disturbance of the species assemblage seemed to occur in two phases: 1) after oyster spat mortality and 2) after seaweed stranding resulted in a bad ecological status, as revealed by macrofaunal indicators. Large quantities of OsHV-1 DNA were also found in some species, including small crabs and amphipods, one week after the mortality crisis, but there is no apparent virus reservoir found in the benthic species.


Benthic macrofauna, Benthic indicators, Oyster farming, Crassostrea gigas, OsHV-1?var mortality

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Vanhuysse Charles, Normand Julien, Lepoittevin Mélanie, Orvain Francis (2021). Changes in benthic macrofauna in oyster parks during an OsHV-1 μVar oyster spat mortality outbreak. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 166. 112239 (13p.).,

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