Our paper Can we enhance ecosystem-based coastal defense by connecting oysters to marsh edges? Analyzing the limits of oyster reef establishment – is now available in Ecological Engineering
Implementation of nature-based flood defenses into coastal management schemes has had growing support due to the benefits over grey infrastructure. For pursuing nature-based coastal protection schemes that utilize bivalve reefs, it is important to enable reef-formation to optimize the impact as coastal defence structure. In this study, we investigate to what extent it is possible to overcome limitations of reef establishment, by artificially reducing the level of hydrodynamic disturbance experienced during settlement. We looked at bivalve establishment in natural Spartina dominated marshes, that provide hydrodynamic stress reduction. We also placed biodegradable artificial stable substrate, BESE-elements, in transects from the subtidal up to the marsh edge to demonstrate that bivalve establishment is possible throughout a much larger range of the intertidal than where natural reefs occur. Together this work provides insight artificial reefs may be fostered to increase their utility as a nature-based flood defense measure.
NIOZ, RuG, RU, UU, Bureau Waardenburg and WMR collaborated in this research, authored by Greg Fivash et al. and co-auhtored by Wouter and Karin of BESE.
Read the abstract & paper