Spatial trends in community and health-related characteristics of Galveston Bay oyster reefs
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Spatial trends and other health-related variables in Galveston Bay oyster reefs indicate that factors other than salinity are major structuring forces. Cluster analyses produced groupings primarily defined by salinity and by region along the salinity gradient. Comparison of Perkinsus marinus analyses showed that the standard method produced false negatives, probably due to low infection intensities associated with low salinity. Even after correcting for false negatives, the average occurrence of Perkinsus marinus for the bay was low. Based on variables related to oyster health and production, four regions maintained the healthiest oyster population. Sites with salinity range extremes had poor-conditioned oyster populations.