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Settling In

Settling In

September 26, 2016

Oysters and many other bottom-dwelling organisms begin life as free-swimming larvae, drifting in the ocean currents. How and when they decide to settle on the seafloor and grow to adulthood is an important question in protecting commercially important species like oysters. Environmental cues, such as sunlight and water turbulence, are experienced by many larvae simultaneously and understanding how these factors interactively influence larval behavior is critical for understanding how larvae actively choose their settlement sites. WHOI guest investigators Jeanette Wheeler and Erik Anderson, both Joint Program graduates, are using a jet-stirred turbulence tank with a directed light source at the WHOI Shore Lab to better understand the conditions that drive oyster larvae to find a home on the ocean floor. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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