Photo Credit:
Phil DeVries
Oyster Sentinel
Restoration Suitability Index
This Restoration Suitability Index (RSI) is designed to assist in the selection of sites for reef restoration and cultch planting based on historical salinity records. The user can eliminate sites with low RSI values and further consider sites with high RSIs. Minimum salinity requirements of the model are monthly means for the previous ten years. From monthly means the mean salinity during the spawning season, and annual mean salinity are calculated. Mean interval (years) between killing floods is determined from the historical salinity record. With a record of monthly mean salinities, a killing flood could be defined as one in which the monthly mean salinity is <= 2.

Mean Salinity during the spawning season

Optimal salinities in the spawning season are higher than those for adult survival. Mean spawning-season salinities of 18 and 22 are considered optimal, whereas salinities <= 5 and >= 40 are unsuitable.

Mean Salinity

Historic Mean Salinity

The optimal historic mean salinity is between 10 and 15. Values <= 5 and >= 40 are unsuitable.

Historic Mean Salinity

Mean Interval between killing floods

Frequent killing floods prevent the persistence of oyster populations. Killing floods every year (0 years between floods) or every other year (1 year between floods) are unsuitable. An interval of >= 3 years is considered optimal (figure from Cake 1983). The relationship does not model any potential benefits of killing floods (e.g., decrease in parasites and predators)

Mean Interval between killing floods