Glacial Influence on Oyster Farm Fouling Communities

While the ecological and economic impacts of fouling organisms on oyster farm equipment are broadly understood, there is uncertainty in the effect that glacial runoff has on fouling community development.

Understanding the drivers and intensity of these fouling communities could benefit farmers during site selection, as their growth on equipment can decrease water flow and inhibit oyster productivity, becoming a potentially costly nuisance to farmers. This project seeks to describe these associations of fouling communities with oyster farms on farms influenced by discharged waters from both glacial, and non-glacial watersheds. Oyster farms in Kachemak Bay, Alaska will be surveyed for fouling community density and composition and assessed for season variability.

Principal Investigator:

Brian Ulaski, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Project Term: 2023 – 2023

Funding: $19,300, National Science Foundation (NSF), Estab­lished Program to Stim­u­late Com­pet­i­tive Research (EPSCoR), Fire and Ice Project