Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Magallana gigas
(Pacific oyster)

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Datasheet

Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 13 August 2021
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Vector of Animal Disease
  • Host Animal
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Magallana gigas
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Pacific oyster
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Mollusca
  •       Class: Bivalvia
  •         Subclass: Pteriomorphia
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Magallana gigas is an oyster species that originates from north-eastern Asia, but has been widely introduced elsewhere for aquaculture. Although highly variable, its invasiveness has been demonstrated in several countries and it is t...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; oyster. Marennes-Oléron, Charente-Maritime, France. December, 2005.
TitleAdult shell
CaptionMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; oyster. Marennes-Oléron, Charente-Maritime, France. December, 2005.
Copyright©David Monniaux-2005/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; oyster. Marennes-Oléron, Charente-Maritime, France. December, 2005.
Adult shellMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; oyster. Marennes-Oléron, Charente-Maritime, France. December, 2005.©David Monniaux-2005/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; normal oyster shell.
TitleShell
CaptionMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; normal oyster shell.
Copyright©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; normal oyster shell.
ShellMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; normal oyster shell. ©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; veliger larvae.
TitleLarvae
CaptionMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; veliger larvae.
Copyright©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; veliger larvae.
LarvaeMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; veliger larvae. ©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; pediveliger larva. Note scale bar.
TitleLarva
CaptionMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; pediveliger larva. Note scale bar.
Copyright©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; pediveliger larva. Note scale bar.
LarvaMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; pediveliger larva. Note scale bar. ©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; eyed larvae.
TitleLarvae
CaptionMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; eyed larvae.
Copyright©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; eyed larvae.
LarvaeMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; eyed larvae. ©IFREMER
Natural hard-bottomed bed for natural recruitment of Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas.
TitleNatural recruitment
CaptionNatural hard-bottomed bed for natural recruitment of Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas.
Copyright©IFREMER
Natural hard-bottomed bed for natural recruitment of Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas.
Natural recruitmentNatural hard-bottomed bed for natural recruitment of Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas.©IFREMER
Natural recruitment of M. gigas (previously C. gigas) oyster - natural bed hard bottom.
TitleNatural recruitment
CaptionNatural recruitment of M. gigas (previously C. gigas) oyster - natural bed hard bottom.
Copyright©IFREMER
Natural recruitment of M. gigas (previously C. gigas) oyster - natural bed hard bottom.
Natural recruitmentNatural recruitment of M. gigas (previously C. gigas) oyster - natural bed hard bottom.©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; natural recruitment of C. gigas oysters - natural bed soft bottom.
TitleNatural recruitment
CaptionMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; natural recruitment of C. gigas oysters - natural bed soft bottom.
Copyright©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; natural recruitment of C. gigas oysters - natural bed soft bottom.
Natural recruitmentMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; natural recruitment of C. gigas oysters - natural bed soft bottom. ©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; abnormal shell calcification resulting from tributyltin pollutant.
TitleAbnormal shell
CaptionMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; abnormal shell calcification resulting from tributyltin pollutant.
Copyright©IFREMER
Magallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; abnormal shell calcification resulting from tributyltin pollutant.
Abnormal shellMagallana gigas (Pacific oyster) - previously Crassostrea gigas; abnormal shell calcification resulting from tributyltin pollutant. ©IFREMER

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Magallana gigas (Thunberg, 1793)

Preferred Common Name

  • Pacific oyster

Other Scientific Names

  • Crassostrea gigas

International Common Names

  • English: giant oyster; immigrant oyster; Miyagi oyster; Pacific cupped oyster; Pacific giant oyster
  • Spanish: ostión japanés

Local Common Names

  • Australia/New South Wales: Pacific king oyster; Pacific rock oyster
  • France: huître creuse du Pacifique
  • Japan: magaki
  • USA: giant Pacific oyster; Japanese oyster

Summary of Invasiveness

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Magallana gigas is an oyster species that originates from north-eastern Asia, but has been widely introduced elsewhere for aquaculture. Although highly variable, its invasiveness has been demonstrated in several countries and it is therefore considered as a pest or a noxious species in such areas (Ashton, 2001; Blake, 2001; Orensanz et al., 2002). This has prompted transfer restrictions and eradication programmes (e.g. in Australia) (Ayres, 1991). In other regions, the species poses no problem, being considered of economic interest (McKenzie et al., 1997; Leppäkoski et al., 2002; Escapa et al., 2004).

On the basis of data from IMPASSE, DAISIE, FishBase, and FAO-DIAS, Savini et al. (2010) included Magallana gigas in the top animal aliens introduced to Europe for aquaculture (and related activities). They note that import of such species for culture has led to the introduction of associated non-target species such as non-native invertebrates and algae, as hitchhikers on packaging, shell-fouling organisms and parasites.

Both the Global Invasive Species Database (ISSG, 2017) and Nehring (2011) provide comprehensive accounts of the invasiveness of Magallana gigas.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Mollusca
  •             Class: Bivalvia
  •                 Subclass: Pteriomorphia
  •                     Order: Ostreoida
  •                         Unknown: Ostreoidea
  •                             Family: Ostreidae
  •                                 Genus: Magallana
  •                                     Species: Magallana gigas

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The Pacific oyster, commonly known as Crassostrea gigas, is now classified as Magallana gigas (Salvi et al., 2014Salvi and Mariottini, 2017; WoRMS Editorial Board, 2020), notwithstanding some dissent (Bayne et al., 2017), although the older name is still marked by WoRMS as 'accepted, alternate representation'.

The Portuguese Oyster, Crassostrea angulata, has sometimes been considered to be part of this species, but WoRMS Editorial Board (2020) list it as a separate species under the name Magallana angulata.

Description

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Magallana gigas has an elongated rough shell, which can reach 20-30 cm in size. Although highly variable, the two valves are solid but unequal in size and shape (CIESM, 2000; Hughes, 2002). The left valve is slightly convex and the right valve is quite deep and cup shaped. One valve is usually cemented to a hard substrate. Shells are sculpted with large irregular, rounded radial folds. Radial ribs are present on both shells starting from the umbo. Usually whitish, they show purple streaks and spots. The inner side is white. The adductor muscle scar is kidney shaped.

Distribution

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Originating from northeastern Asia, Magallana gigas has been introduced and translocated, mainly for aquaculture purposes, to a number of countries, almost worldwide, particularly from the 1980s onwards (CIESM, 2000; CSIRO, 2002; Leppäkoski et al., 2002; NIMPIS, 2002; Wolff and Reise, 2002). It is considered as '…one of the most 'globalised' marine invertebrates' (Herbert et al., 2016).

In North America, the species can be found from southeast Alaska to Baja California, USA; in European waters it is cultured from Norway to Portugal as well as in the Mediterranean Sea (McKenzie et al., 1997). Biological characteristics make it suitable for a wide range of environmental conditions, although it is usually found in coastal and estuarine areas within its natural range. It has been introduced to Senegal (P. Goulletquer, Ifremer, France, personal communication, 2004).

With regard to suitable rearing areas, the main constraint is carrying capacity. Usually coastal and estuarine areas are highly productive, due to the freshwater inputs and the resulting primary productivity. Therefore, high food availability facilitates more intensive rearing densities. Since Magallana gigas is highly tolerant to a wide range of seawater temperature and salinity, it has the capacity to grow in highly variable environments from estuarine areas to brackish waters to offshore areas in oceanic waters. The fact that seed is widely available, and can be easily transferred, facilitates the use of those various environments, even in areas where no natural recruitment occurs. In contrast, natural recruitment areas are usually located in coastal estuarine waters, impacted by freshwater inputs. Larval survival rate is driven by a temperature-salinity combination, which is optimum in slightly desalinated areas. From a geographic point of view, the worldwide distribution of M. gigas demonstrates that only the equatorial and polar regions are less favourable for culture.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 12 Jan 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresent
Cabo VerdePresentIntroduced
MauritaniaPresentIntroduced
MauritiusPresentIntroduced
MoroccoPresentIntroduced
NamibiaPresentIntroduced
SeychellesPresentIntroduced
South AfricaPresentIntroducedInvasive
TunisiaPresentIntroduced

Asia

ChinaPresentNative
-GuangxiPresentNative
-HebeiPresentNative
-LiaoningPresentNative
-ShandongPresent
-ZhejiangPresentNative
Hong KongPresentNative
IndonesiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-JavaPresentIntroduced
IsraelPresentIntroduced
JapanPresentNative
-HokkaidoPresentNative
-HonshuPresentNative
-KyushuPresentNative
MalaysiaPresentIntroduced
North KoreaPresentNative
PhilippinesPresentIntroduced
South KoreaPresentNative
TaiwanPresentNative
TurkeyPresentIntroduced

Europe

BelgiumPresentIntroduced
CroatiaPresentIntroducedEstablished
CyprusPresentIntroduced
DenmarkPresentIntroduced
FrancePresentIntroduced
-CorsicaPresentIntroduced
GermanyPresentIntroduced
GreecePresentIntroduced
IrelandPresentIntroduced
ItalyPresentIntroducedInvasive
MaltaPresentIntroduced
NetherlandsPresentIntroducedInvasive
NorwayPresentIntroduced
PortugalPresentIntroduced
-MadeiraPresentIntroduced
RomaniaPresentIntroduced
RussiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Russian Far EastPresentNative
-Southern RussiaPresentIntroduced
Serbia and MontenegroPresentIntroduced
SloveniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
SpainPresentIntroduced
SwedenPresentIntroducedNot established
UkrainePresentIntroduced
United KingdomPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Channel IslandsPresentIntroducedJersey
-ScotlandPresentIntroducedShetland

North America

BelizePresentIntroduced
CanadaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroduced
Costa RicaPresentIntroduced
CubaPresent
MartiniquePresentIntroduced
MexicoPresentIntroduced
NicaraguaPresentIntroduced
PanamaPresentIntroducedOriginal citation: Morales de Ruiz V (1990)
Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentIntroduced
United StatesPresentIntroduced
-AlaskaPresentIntroduced
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced
-MainePresentIntroduced
-MassachusettsPresentIntroduced
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced
-OregonPresentIntroduced
-TexasPresentIntroduced
-VirginiaPresentIntroduced
-WashingtonPresentIntroduced

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedInvasive
-South AustraliaPresentIntroduced
-TasmaniaPresentIntroduced
-VictoriaPresentIntroduced
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroduced
FijiPresentIntroduced
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced
GuamPresentIntroduced
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced
New ZealandPresentIntroducedInvasive
PalauPresentIntroduced
SamoaPresentIntroduced
TongaPresentIntroduced
VanuatuPresentIntroduced

Sea Areas

Atlantic - Eastern CentralPresentIntroduced
Atlantic - NortheastPresentIntroduced
Atlantic - NorthwestPresentIntroduced
Atlantic - SoutheastPresentIntroduced
Atlantic - SouthwestPresentIntroduced
Atlantic - Western CentralPresentIntroduced
Indian Ocean - EasternPresentIntroduced
Indian Ocean - WesternPresentIntroduced
Mediterranean and Black SeaPresentIntroduced
Pacific - Eastern CentralPresentIntroduced
Pacific - NortheastPresentIntroduced
Pacific - NorthwestPresentNative
Pacific - SoutheastPresentIntroduced
Pacific - SouthwestPresentIntroduced
Pacific - Western CentralPresentIntroduced

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedInvasive
BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-BahiaPresentIntroduced
-Rio de JaneiroPresentIntroduced
-Santa CatarinaPresentIntroduced
-Sao PauloPresentIntroduced
ChilePresentIntroduced
EcuadorPresent
PeruPresentIntroduced
VenezuelaPresentIntroduced

History of Introduction and Spread

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Originating from northeastern Asia, Magallana gigas has been introduced and translocated, mainly for aquaculture purposes, to a number of countries, almost worldwide, particularly from the 1980s onwards (CIESM, 2000CSIRO, 2002Leppäkoski et al., 2002NIMPIS, 2002Wolff and Reise, 2002). It is considered as '…one of the most 'globalised' marine invertebrates' (Herbert et al., 2016). For a detailed review of the history of introduction of this species see Nehring (2011).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Alaska USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Argentina Chile 1982 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Private sector Yes No Orensanz et al. (2002)
Australia Japan 1940 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Fisheries (pathway cause)Government Yes No FAO (2017)
Belgium 1990s Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown Yes No FAO (2017)
Belize USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Brazil Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government; Individual No No
British Columbia Japan 1912 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Private sector Yes No
British Columbia USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
California Japan 1928 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government; Private sector Yes No Shaw (1978)
Chile USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
China Japan 1979 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Cook Islands Australia Aquaculture (pathway cause); Fisheries (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Private sector No No FAO (2017) Not established
Costa Rica USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Denmark USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Chile Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)International organisation No No FAO (2017)
Fiji California 1968-1977 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Government; International organisation No No SPC aquaculture portal (2002)
Fiji Philippines 1968-1977 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Government; International organisation No No SPC aquaculture portal (2002)
Fiji Japan 1968 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
France British Columbia 1966 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Government; Private sector Yes No Goulletquer et al. (2002)
France Japan 1966 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Government; Private sector Yes No Goulletquer et al. (2002)
French Polynesia California 1972, 1976 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Government No No DIAS (2005)
Germany 1990s Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Guam Taiwan 1975 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No Fitzgerald (1982)
Guam Taiwan 1975 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government No No SPC aquaculture portal (2002)
Hawaii Japan 1926 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Fisheries (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Ireland UK 1969 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government; Private sector No Yes DIAS (2005)
Ireland France 1993 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government No No FAO (2017)
Italy Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Japan USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Java Tasmania 2000 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government; Private sector No No
Maine 1949 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Government No No Shatkin et al. (1997)
Malaysia USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown Yes No FAO (2017)
Namibia USA 1990 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Mexico USA 1973 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Netherlands USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Mauritius California 1971-1972 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Government; Private sector No No
Netherlands British Columbia 1964-1976 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown Yes No
Netherlands Japan 1964-1976 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown Yes No
New Caledonia Japan 1967 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Private sector No Yes DIAS (2005)
New Caledonia USA 1960s Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
New Zealand Japan 1970 (1958) Aquaculture (pathway cause); Interconnected waterways (pathway cause)Unknown Yes No Pollard and Hutchings (1990)
New Zealand Australia 1950s Unknown Yes No FAO (2017)
Norway USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Palau California 1972 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No Pflum (1972)
Philippines Japan Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Puerto Rico USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Portugal France 1990-1992 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Private sector No No FAO (2017)
Samoa USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Seychelles Japan 1974 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Private sector No No FAO (2017)
South Africa USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
South Australia 1969 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government Yes No
Spain France 1980s Aquaculture (pathway cause)Private sector No No FAO (2017)
Spain Pacific, Northwest Unknown Yes No FAO (2017)
Korea, Republic of USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Russian Federation 1976 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Fisheries (pathway cause)Government No Yes FAO (2017)
Tasmania 1947 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government Yes No
Tonga Fiji 1974 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government No No Wilkinson (1975)
Tonga Tasmania 1975 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Tonga Japan 1975 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Ukraine 1976 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Fisheries (pathway cause)Government No Yes FAO (2017)
UK British Columbia 1926, 1965 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government; Private sector Yes Yes Utting and Spencer (1992)
UK USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
UK 1926 Aquaculture (pathway cause); Fisheries (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
UK Portugal Unknown Yes No FAO (2017)
United States Virgin Islands USA 1980 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Vanuatu California 1972 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No No DIAS (2005)
Victoria 1953 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government Yes No
Vietnam China Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Vietnam Australia Aquaculture (pathway cause); Research (pathway cause)Unknown No No FAO (2017)
Washington Japan 1902-1970s Aquaculture (pathway cause)Private sector Yes No Chew (1990)
Western Australia Japan 1947 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Government Yes No CSIRO (2002); DIAS (2005)

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
LittoralRocky shores Present, no further details Natural
LittoralRocky shores Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Natural
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralMangroves Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralMud flats Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralIntertidal zone Present, no further details Natural
LittoralIntertidal zone Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralSalt marshes Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
BrackishEstuaries Present, no further details Natural
BrackishEstuaries Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
MarineInland saline areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
MarineInshore marine Present, no further details Natural
MarineInshore marine Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

C. gigas has 10 pairs of chromosomes (2n=20), although aneuploid individuals can be found (2n=19, 18, 17) (Leitao et al., 1999; Bouilly et al., 2004).

Reproductive Biology

Magallana gigas is an oviparous oyster with a high level of fecundity (Deslous-Paoli and Héral, 1988). Individuals change their sex during their lifetime, usually spawning first as a male, and subsequently as a female (Héral and Deslous-Paoli, 1990). Spawning is temperature-dependent and occurs in summer months (15-20°C) (Goulletquer, 1997). Reproductive effort is high -- a female can produce 20-100 million eggs per spawning. The eggs are 50-60 µm in diameter. Fertilization is external, taking place in the seawater column. Larvae are firstly free-swimming and planktonic, developing for 2 to 3 weeks before metamorphosis and finding a suitable clean hard substrate to settle on. Usually attached to rocks, they can settle in muddy or sandy areas (attached to debris, small rocks or shells) or on top of other oysters, leading to reef building (Orensanz et al., 2002). Highly sensitive to environmental conditions, a very small percentage of larvae survive to become spat. The swimming stage and capacity to survive in various environmental conditions once settled facilitate dispersal along coasts (CIESM, 2000; NIMPIS, 2002).

Nutrition

Magallana gigas is a plankton feeder, filtering phytoplanktonic species for food, and also ingesting detritic particulate organic matter. Although mucous secretion is used to transport particles towards the mouth, M. gigas has a capacity to select particle size at the gill and labial palp levels (Barillé et al., 1997, 2000; Bougrier et al., 1997). Therefore, they can reject faeces resulting from digestive activity, as well as pseudofaeces which are non-ingested agglomerated particles. Temperature is the factor driving all the physiological processes, including filtering activity, metabolism, respiration and excretion rates (Bougrier et al., 1995).

Environmental Requirements

Magallana gigas can resist freezing air temperatures (-17°C) (as well as a 20°C difference between low and high tide in winter) and summer temperature on a muddy bottom up to 45°C (a more than 25°C difference between low and high tide). Salinity and temperature tolerances are highly variable between varieties and depending on the location where they grow. It is a very euryhaline and eurythermic species. Moreover, a combination of factors such as temperature and salinity are more representative of species tolerance than straight values (Goulletquer, 1997). Interactions among factors are also critical. Physiological status is a critical factor for environmental tolerances as well as the life stage (Powell et al., 2000, 2002). The shell facilitates protection against temporary stresses, including pollutants and abnormal temperature-salinity conditions. Eggs and larvae are more sensitive to environmental changes (His et al., 1999). Optimum salinity range for egg development depends on the salinity where the parents were grown. Once activated (at 12°C), gametogenesis is directly dependent on the duration of this temperature (day-degrees) and a temperature of at least 18- 20°C is necessary for spawning.

Natural Food Sources

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Food SourceFood Source DatasheetLife StageContribution to Total Food Intake (%)Details
dissolved organic matter (amino-acids) Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock; Aquatic|Larval
particulate inorganic matter Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock; Aquatic|Larval
particulate organic matter Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock; Aquatic|Larval
phytoplankton Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock; Aquatic|Larval

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
A - Tropical/Megathermal climate Tolerated Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
D - Continental/Microthermal climate Tolerated Continental/Microthermal climate (Average temp. of coldest month < 0°C, mean warmest month > 10°C)

Water Tolerances

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ParameterMinimum ValueMaximum ValueTypical ValueStatusLife StageNotes
4-nonyphenol (µg mass per litre) <0.1 Harmful Larval D-shape larvae delayed - shell deformities and growth abnormality
Arsenic (mg/l) 326-920 Harmful Egg
Boron (mg/l) <=1 Optimum Adult limited bioaccumulation - equilibrium between oyster concentration and that in surrounding seawater - no prolonged retention following cessation of dosage
Cadmium (mg/l) 0.5* Optimum Adult * threshold considered as safe for human consumption
Cadmium (mg/l) 19.5 Harmful Adult
Cadmium (mg/l) 19.5 Harmful Broodstock
Cadmium (mg/l) 10 - >100 Harmful Larval
Cadmium (mg/l) 611 - >2500 Harmful Egg
Chromium (mg/l) 4538 Harmful Egg
Chromium (mg/l) 10-20 Harmful Larval
Copper (mg/l) >16-32 Harmful Adult
Copper (mg/l) >16-32 Harmful Broodstock
Copper (mg/l) 10-100 Harmful Egg
Copper (mg/l) 24-100 Harmful Larval
Dissolved oxygen (mg/l) <4 Harmful Larval
Dyes (mg/l) >10 Harmful Egg
Dyes (mg/l) >10 Harmful Larval
Lead (mg/l) 758 Harmful Egg
Lead (mg/l) 10-20 Harmful Larval
Mercury (mg/l) 1.1 Harmful Adult
Mercury (mg/l) 1.1 Harmful Broodstock
Mercury (mg/l) 32-200 Harmful Larval
Mercury (mg/l) 5.7-32 Harmful Egg
Nickel (mg/l) 349 Harmful Egg
Nickel (mg/l) 10-20 Harmful Larval
Oils and refined products (mg/l) <1 Harmful Egg Figure refers to polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons
Oils and refined products (mg/l) >150-200 Harmful Adult Figure refers to polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons
Phytoplankton toxins (mg/l) DSP: mouse test <2 in 4 h; PSP: >80 µg/100 g meat; ASP: >20 µg/g meat Adult Positive test results in public health problem
Rubidium chloride salts (mg/l) 300 Harmful Adult
Rubidium chloride salts (mg/l) 300 Harmful Broodstock
Salinity (part per thousand) 30 Optimum Larval 10-34 tolerated
Salinity (part per thousand) 13 29 Optimum Broodstock 5-45 tolerated
Salinity (part per thousand) 20 30 Optimum Adult 5-45 tolerated
Salinity (part per thousand) 25 30 Optimum Egg up to 35 tolerated
Spawning temperature (ºC temperature) 20 25 Optimum Broodstock 15-31 tolerated
Turbidity (JTU turbidity) >190 Harmful Adult reduction in infiltration rate due to physical constraints - gill clogging
Turbidity (JTU turbidity) >190 Harmful Broodstock reduction in infiltration rate due to physical constraints - gill clogging
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 11 34 Optimum Adult 3-35 tolerated
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 20 25 Optimum Broodstock 3-35 tolerated
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 20 30 Optimum Larval 18-35 tolerated
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 24 26 Optimum Egg 19-30 tolerated
Zinc (mg/l) 10 - >500 Harmful Larval Bioaccumulation can reach up to 9000 µg/g in adult oysters living in polluted areas
Zinc (mg/l) 3200 Harmful Egg Bioaccumulation can reach up to 9000 µg/g in adult oysters living in polluted areas

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Asterias Predator Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock
Aves Predator Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock
Cancer productus Predator Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock
Carcinus maenas Predator Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock
Dasyatidae Predator Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock
Mytilicola Parasite Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock
Ocinebrellus inornatus Predator Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock
Polydora Parasite Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock
Pseudostylochus Predator Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock
Rapana venosa Predator Aquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Broodstock

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Ship ballast water and sediment Yes Minchin and Gollasch (2008)
Ship hull fouling Yes Minchin and Gollasch (2008)
WaterPelagic larvae dispersed by water currents Yes Minchin and Gollasch (2008)

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Fisheries / aquaculture Positive
Native fauna Negative
Native flora Negative
Tourism Positive

Economic Impact

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Despite the fact that only about 5.25% of the worldwide production originates from its native range, the introduction of M. gigas has had a highly significant positive economic impact, the value of production in 2017 amounting to US $1247 million in 2017 (FAO, 2019). In several countries, the introduction has resulted in the development of a sustainable shellfish industry providing direct revenues for thousands of farmers and concomitant activities (e.g. equipment). Moreover, a highly valuable (and unaccountable) indirect economic impact concerns the lasting establishment on coastal communities in otherwise unfavourable rural areas, therefore playing a significant role in coastal management values. As an example, the 1970s oyster crisis in European waters following the fast disappearance of disease-impacted Magallana angulata populations (then known as Crassostrea angulata) was solved by the introduction of M. gigas which saved the collapsing industry (Goulletquer and Héral, 1992; NAS, 2004).

In contrast, the introduction of M. gigas has had economic side effects in several countries such as Australia (New South Wales), where the native Sydney rock oyster, Saccostrea glomerata, was partly outcompeted by M. gigas, leading to the collapse of several businesses. Indirect economic impacts include increasing coastal management costs to limit M. gigas reef expansion, and eradication costs.

Environmental Impact

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The potential environmental impacts related to Magallana gigas introduction are:

  • displacement of native species where M. gigas develops breeding populations and becomes an invasive species in several countries (New Zealand, Australia), competing for food and space by building massive oyster beds through its natural spat settlement and recruitment
  • benthic-pelagic interactions and likely food web modifications
  • habitat change
  • hybridization with local oyster species
  • transfer of parasites, diseases and pest species concomitant to oyster transfer (FAO, 1995; FAC/NACA, 2000; Galil and Zenetos, 2002; OIE, 2003).

It is acknowledged that the macrophyte alga Sargassum muticum was introduced concomitantly with oyster spat in European waters, leading to local algal species displacement (Wolff and Reise, 2002). Shell-borers such as Polydora sp. are commensal to oysters and can be transferred concomitantly and then colonize other shellfish species (Leppäkoski et al., 2002).

Impact on Biodiversity

Since Magallana gigas has been a leading candidate for shellfish culture worldwide and its artificial production using hatchery techniques is well controlled, introductions in sensitive environments have been numerous. In several countries, uncontrolled natural reproduction has led to a significant species expansion and natural breeding stocks (Kater and Baars, 2004). Positive and negative effects have resulted from habitat changes through reef building capacity (Jones et al., 1997; Gutièrrez et al., 2003); increased habitat volume and protective ecological niches were reported, similarly to the artificial reef building approach, while siltation has impacted benthic community structures. False Bay, a natural reserve in San Juan Island (Washington, USA) has been studied extensively since 1989. M. gigas recruitment was first observed in 1997, followed by a rapid expansion which has reached two other marine reserves since then (Ashton, 2001). Although impacts are still unknown, it was noticed that native primary space occupiers were eliminated within the intertidal zone. Moreover, there is a concern that the first marine protected area (MPA) of the coast of Argentina (UNESCO classified) was being impacted by arrival of M. gigas and the alga Undaria sp.. A maritime regional park in France (Brittany) is undergoing a colonization by M. gigas, resulting from either climate change and/or adaptation to this environment.

Hybridization among Magallana species (formerly Crassostrea) has been well studied and demonstrated in specific cases (NAS, 2004). Crosses between M. ariakensis and M. gigas are viable (M. ariakensis has been cultured throughout southern China and Japan for over 300 years -- NAS, 2004).Several M. gigas races or morphotypes are found in Japan. Therefore, some hybridization has already likely occurred in nature during decades of transfer and worldwide introductions. In Washington State (USA), hybridization between M. sikamea and M. gigas occurred from 1960 to 1990, following a lack of broodstock management. It can be expected that reduction of genetic diversity has occurred in some way. Moreover, this process has probably been underestimated due to the plasticity of oysters and the past lack of genetic markers (now available). Two rare alleles in New Zealand Pacific oysters have been recorded previously only in the rock oyster, Saccostrea glomerata. Similarly, natural hybridization between genetically differentiated populations of M. gigas and M. angulata has been demonstrated (Huvet et al., 2004a); the remaining populations of the M. angulata ecotype in Portugal are therefore at threat from culture development and extensive transfers of M. gigas (Huvet et al., 2000b).

Social Impact

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Socioeconomic effects are generally positive. The Magallana gigas industry contributes significantly to coastal management as a permanent, year-round, coastal user. Therefore, it contributes to the economic sustainability of coastal communities, and represents a stakeholder within the integrated coastal zone management process. Since it requires suitable seawater quality for public health reasons, it also contributes to environmental long-term monitoring. Considered as a traditional activity in several producing countries, M. gigas culture has been of interest for ‘green’ tourism development.

There is concern, however, that as wild populations establish and become a source of income to locals, they may displace native species. Therefore, consideration has to be made with regard to both the conservation of protected habitats (and the species within them), and the socio-economics of fishing communities who make a living from M. gigas (Herbert et al., 2016).

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Fast growing
  • Gregarious
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of natural benthic communities
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Hybridization
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses List

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Human food and beverage

  • Canned meat
  • Cured meat
  • Fresh meat
  • Frozen meat
  • Live product for human consumption
  • Whole

Materials

  • Shell

References

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
ESTs French databasehttp://www.ifremer.fr
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Lynx Therapeutics Inchttp://www.lynxgen.com
Molluscan Broodstock Program (MBP)http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu
MOREST Research Program (survival rate selection)http://www.ifremer.fr
UK Non-Native Organism Risk Assessment Scheme - Crassostrea gigashttp://www.nonnativespecies.org/home/index.cfm

Contributors

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10/12/2017 Updated by:

Vicki Bonham, consultant, UK

Main Author
Philippe Goulletquer
Laboratoire Génétique et Pathologie (LGP), IFREMER, Avenue de Mus de Loup, BP 133, 17390 La Tremblade, France

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