Rodriguez Perez, Ana

Project Title

European oyster (Ostrea edulis) restoration: Marine Protected Areas and built structures

Abstract

The European native flat oyster Ostrea edulis once formed vast beds along European coastlines that constituted a central ecological and socio-economic resource. These beds were biodiversity hotspots that mediated effective coastal ecosystem functioning, while harvesting of O. edulis contributed to food security and spurred local economies. Yet, centuries of overfishing, combined with more recent stressors such as coastal development, have led to the functional extinction of this habitat throughout most of its distribution range.

This project seeks to guide restoration efforts of this habitat by

  1. finding suitable restoration sites in areas protected from the principal fishing pressure, such as MPAs and marine renewable energy development sites,
  2. studying larval dispersal and settlement behaviour, in order to incorporate this knowledge into hydrodynamic models, and select restoration sites which can promote larval recruitment and connectivity between restored beds, and
  3. studying the community development and biodiversity associated with O. edulis beds.

Supervisors

Dr William Sanderson, Dr Mark James (St. Andrews University) and Dr David Donnan (Scottish Natural Heritage)

Contact

Email: ar62@hw.ac.uk