The Wahle Lab







Wahle Lab                                                                                                                                         



Quick links to UMaine:

 Darling Marine Center

 School of Marine Sciences

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Devoloping Tools to Evaluate Spawning and Fertilization Dynamics on the Giant Sea Scallop, Placopecten magellanicus


   R. Wahle (UMaine), J. Gaudette (DFO), M. Sieracki (Bigelow), K. Stokesbury (UMass), R. Maxwell (industry)

Funding agency:      

   NOAA/Scallop Research Set-aside

Funding Period:





Project Summary:

   This project addresses the need for research on scallop biology, abundance and dispersion patterns, and the value of area closures as a management strategy. This multi-institutional collaboration initiates new research into the long-standing question of whether aggregations of adult scallops increase fertilization success, and whether disturbing them may decrease reproductive success.  Our proposal has three objectives: (1) Conduct laboratory experiments to evaluate spawning rates and fertilization kinetics (i.e., dilution and temperature effects on fertilization rates) and to develop flow cytometry technology to gamete and embryo sorting;  (2) Conduct field experiments in a natural flow field to evaluate the rate at which egg fertilization declines with distance from a spawning male; and (3) Examine existing camera survey images to characterize scallop aggregation and dispersion patterns inside and outside fishery closures in New England and Mid-Atlantic scallop beds.  The outcome of these studies will provide empirical data to stock assessment scientists in need of a better understanding of the role of depensatory effects in the population dynamics of free-spawners, such as scallops, at low population densities. The project will also set the stage for future field studies of fertilization ecology to be conducted directly on New England scallop beds. Results will be disseminated to the NEFMC Scallop Committee. Educational opportunities are made available through an undergraduate internship and graduate research.





Scallop research at UMaine

Interview with Rick Wahle

(Link to video)