Oyster Larvae Transport Animations

Flash animations created by:
Zachary Schlag

Model visualizations created by:
Elizabeth North

Model predictions from the larval transport model published in:

North, E. W., Z. Schlag, R. R. Hood, M. Li, L. Zhong, T. Gross, and V. S. Kennedy. in press. Vertical swimming behavior influences the dispersal of simulated oyster larvae in a coupled particle-tracking and hydrodynamic model of Chesapeake Bay. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Model development funded by:
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, National Science Foundation

back to E. North
research pages

Go to: Research Program ~ Videos & Animations pages
___The links below lead to animations of oyster larvae from a larval transport model. A larval transport model is a computer program that combines predictions of water circulation and larval swimming behavior to calculate where larvae are transported. It is like an underwater flight simulator for oyster larvae. More information about oyster larvae transport and the research program in which these animations were developed can be found here.

Animations of vertical swimming behavior. These animations portray the vertical swimming behavior of two oyster species, the Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica, blue particles) and the Asian Oyster (Crassostrea ariakensis, orange particles) as they develop from fertilized eggs, to veliger larvae, and then to pediveliger larvae. When the simulated larvae become pediveligers, the simulated larvae swim down and their colors change to purple (C. virginica) and yellow (C. ariakensis). Their swimming speeds increase with development from 0.25 mm per sec to 3 mm per sec. Animations are available that show the behavior of larvae when the water includes a halocline ("with halocline") and when the water column is well mixed ("without halocline"). These vertical swimming behaviors were used to create the animations of larval transport below. Click here for animations.

Animations of larval transport in Chesapeake Bay. These animations portray the horizontal transport of two species of oyster larvae in Chesapeake Bay, the native Eastern Oyster (C. virginia) and the Asian Oyster proposed for introduction (C. ariakenis). Simulated oyster larvae are released from 2776 oyster reefs ('bars') throughout the Chesapeake Bay. They are transported for ~2 weeks as veliger larvae (blue particles) until they become pediveligers (purple particles). If they find suitable habitat (an oyster reef), they stop moving and turn green. If they die before they find suitable habitat, they stop moving and turn orange. Images from these stages in the animations (beginning, veligers, pediveligers, end) are to the right. Animations are available for years with high (1996), medium (1998) and low (1999) freshwater flow into Chesapeake Bay during summer.

Click below the species to see individual animations in each flow year.
___Eastern Oyster __Asian Oyster
___Low flow_________Low flow
___Average flow______Average flow
___High flow_________High flow

Click on the flow year to see the animations of both species side by side.
___Both species side by side
__Low flow
___Average flow
___High flow