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Go to  > Station 2: Water Testing
      Station 3: Oyster Bar Community
Go to  > Station 4: Investigating Plankton
Go to  > Station 5: Seining (Going Fishing)

Station 3: Oyster Bar Community

Differences in the physical and chemical conditions of the estuary create different habitats. Depth, tidal current, salinity, sedimentation, temperature, concentration of dissolved oxygen, and nutrient levels all play a role in the characteristics of an aquatic habitat. In this station, students will investigate one particular kind of habitat: the benthic oyster bar communit and realte the organisms that live there to how dissolved oxygen (DO ) levels might affect these organsism and the oysters they live on. 

The oyster bar is an example of a benthic community, or bottom dwelling. At this station, students sort though an oyster basket to find and identify benthic organisms like small crabs, worms, barnacles, amphipods, and fish that live among the oyster shells.  Students will also learn about SERC research related to DO and oysters, and use hand-held DO meters to take three readings in the water column.

 > Objectives
> Discuss:
    • The terms habitat, sessile, and benthic community
    • The impact that oysters have on the quality of the Chesapeake Bay and Rhode River ecosystems because of their ability to filter the water
    • The life cycle of an oyster
    • What oyster bar communities provide for benthic organisms 


    • Sort through the shells of the bottom dwelling oyster basket to find organisms 
    • Sort organisms into small containers of water
    • Identify and record numbers and species of organisms


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 > Content Standards

> Maryland Content Standards
Oyster Bar Community Science Indicators:
1.0 Skills & Processes: 1.5.1, 1.5.5, 1.5.6
3.0 Life Science: 3.5.6, 3.5.7, 3.5.7, 3.5.12, 3.5.13
6.0 Environmental Science: 6.5.2, 6.5.3

> Virginia Standards of Learning 
Oyster Bar Community Science Indicators:
Scientific Investigation, Reason & Logic: 4.1, 5.1, 5.6
Living Systems: 4.5
Resources: 4.8

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