WetlandInfo—your first-stop-shop for wetland management resources in Queensland
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Wetlands are important for our environment, economy and our livelihoods. They have many functions from reducing floods to producing clean water and food for humans, industry and agriculture. They provide important habitat for many animals and plants. Wetlands are the great ‘connectors’ across our landscape providing places for our enjoyment and relaxation. Regardless of whether you are doing a school or uni assignment, managing a wetland or undertaking research, you will find a wealth of information here on WetlandInfo. Read more…
WetlandInfo feature species
The feature species for December is the Sydney Rock Oyster, Saccostrea glomerata. Saccostrea glomerata is a species of oyster endemic to Australia and New Zealand. They are usually found in the intertidal zone, growing on intertidal rocky shores including rock platforms, and can tolerate a range of salinities (halotolerant). They often form in mollusc communities where they help form shellfish reefs. Shellfish reefs provide, modify and maintain habitats for a number of other species, and provide a range of ecosystem services including food provision, fish and invertebrate habitat, water filtration, fish production and shoreline protection.
Saccostrea glomerata are broadcast spawners, where eggs and sperm are released into open water where fertilisation occurs. Within hours of fertilisation, the eggs develop into free-swimming planktonic larvae. The larvae develop retractable feet and transparent shells, while searching for a suitable site to attach to. Once attached, the shell darkens, and the larval foot is reabsorbed.
Oysters are filter feeders, filtering planktonic algae from the water. Birds, fish, stringrays, mud crabs and starfish all eat Saccostrea glomerata, including the Australian pied oystercatcher. Saccostrea glomerata is also commercially farmed in Australia.