oa African Zoology - Studies on the ecology of Saccostrea cucullata (Born, 1778) (Mollusca: Bivalvia) on the east coast of southern Africa

Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Aspects of the population ecology of the rock oyster Saccostrea cucullata were studied in Transkei and southern Natal. Population size structure was determined from a survey of 12 sites in Transkei and five in Natal, while data on recruitment, growth and mortality were obtained from photographic monitoring of fixed quadrats at selected sites in Transkei. Most populations had a unimodal size distribution in which small individuals were poorly represented. Truncated size spectra were evident in both nature reserves and exploited areas, suggesting that size distribution was unrelated to human exploitation. Recruitment at all sites was poor. Poor recruitment and slow growth rate decrease the resistance of the species to disturbance and reduce the potential of denuded populations for recovery.

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