A comparative study on the nursery culture of hatchery-reared sub-adult cupped oyster, Crassostrea iredalei (Faustino, 1932), in an earthen pond and a mangrove canal
A comparative study on the nursery culture of the spat of the tropical oyster, Crassostrea iredalei, in an earthen pond and a mangrove canal was conducted over two months. The results revealed no differences in the absolute growth rate determined by shell width between the two culture sites (P < 0.05). Sub-adult oysters cultured in the mangrove canal showed a higher absolute growth rate in shell length and a higher daily growth rate than the oysters cultured in the earthen pond (P < 0.05). The mean survival rate of sub-adult oysters cultured in the earthen pond (99.8 ± 0.2%) was significantly higher than for those cultured in the mangrove canal (66.7 ± 31.4%). Decreased density from the loss of sub-adult oyster nursery culture in the mangrove canal led to higher growth performance than in the earthen pond. However, no difference was found for the fraction of oysters larger or smaller than 5 cmfor the two culture sites (P < 0.05). A significant difference was noted in the Condition Index (CI) between the two culture sites (P < 0.05). The high primary productivity in mangroves is a major supporter of higher CI in sub-adult oysters cultured in mangrove canals versus in earthen ponds. Water exchange in the earthen pond to maintain calcium and magnesium concentrations resulted in no differences in the shell compressibility of sub-adult oysters compared with those cultured in the mangrove canal.