Lee, Hannah

Project Title

The Blue Carbon of Shellfish Beds: Understanding the vaults of biogenic reefs (O. edulis, M. modiolus and M. edulis)


Bivalve molluscs provide a wealth of ecosystem goods and services from water quality management to the reduction of turbidity and storage of carbon (‘Blue Carbon’). Historically, overfishing and disease has led to the depletion of bivalve stocks globally. Consequently, biogenic reefs formed by shellfish have recently become the focus of a series of restoration projects across an international scale. In recent years the value of blue carbon stocks has been recognised with extensive focus on mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrass meadows.

This project aims to quantify the potential of shellfish beds to be more widely considered as blue carbon sinks. Quantification will be achieved by focusing on

  1. carbon budgeting of shellfish; quantification of annual carbon storage versus annual output,
  2. the role of biogenic reefs in carbon sequestration under controlled and natural conditions, and
  3. to apply knowledge to other shellfish species and format a large-scale carbon storage assessment.


Dr William Sanderson (Heriot Watt), Dr Karen Diele (Edinburgh Napier), Dr Ian Davies (Marine Scotland), Professor John Baxter (Scottish Natural Heritage), and Professor Ted Henry.


Email: hzl1@hw.ac.uk