|A global invasion of the Japanese oyster : A meta-analysis on the introduction and expansion of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas)|
Hidskes, S. (2019). A global invasion of the Japanese oyster : A meta-analysis on the introduction and expansion of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas). BSc Thesis. NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Yerseke. 30 pp.
Since the 1920's, the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas has been introduced for aquaculture purposes on all continents except Antarctica. The oyster established itself in commercial nurseries and rapidly took over the global oyster industry, resulting in high profits. However, C. gigas broke out of its nurseries and started colonizing ecosystems around the globe. Thereby, C. gigas started modifying the receiving ecosystems through biogenic oyster reefs, expulsion of indigenous species, and the concomitant introduction of more invasive organisms. The colonizing and ecosystem engineering traits of C. gigas have resulted in global marine uniformity and a decrease in species richness. Thus, marine ecosystems have become destabilized, resulting in a higher vulnerability to diseases and disasters. This paper reviews the causes and consequences of the global invasion of C. gigas in order to determine the overall impact of this phenomenon. Economic and ecologic factors will be discussed, and several case studies will be described, followed by an overall conclusion with future perspectives.