Ambitious restoration programme for Aussie oyster reefs
Published Jan 8, 2022
to settle atop the reef. Such turf algae are a global phenomenon that is common on urbanised coasts where the algae opportunistically carpets hard surfaces. To help restore South Australia’s lost oyster reefs, Prof Sean Connell and Dr Dominic McAfee of the Southern Seas Ecology Lab in the School of Biological Sciences and The Environment Institute developed a new multi-species approach to marine restoration. This involved focusing not just on restoring oysters, but also on recovering other organisms that positively interact with the oysters to help them grow habitat. In this case, canopy-forming kelp, which form underwater forests that prevent turf algae from settling beneath their canopy, were transplanted atop Windara’s constructed reefs. Beneath the kelp canopies, the number of baby oysters that settled on the reef increased dramatically, accelerating the restoration process. This multi-species approach to restoration will help create more resilient and stable ecosystems, and ...