Benchmarking flat oyster reefs restoration outcomes in southeast Tasmania

Supervisory Team:

Primary supervisor: Beth Strain

Co-supervisor: Jeff Ross

Additional supervisors: Sarah Ugalde and Victor Shelamoff

Brief project description:

In the marine environment oysters are ecosystem engineers: they form reef super-structures that significantly influence the surrounding abiotic and biotic conditions. Under suitable environmental conditions oysters can filter, and store nutrients, and enhance bacterially mediated denitrification, which greatly improves the surrounding water quality. The effects of many natural oyster reefs in achieving the ecosystems services are generally inferred through laboratory incubations which have been undertaken for a limited number of species.

In Australia, most of the remaining subtidal flat oyster reefs are in Tasmania. This project represents a unique opportunity to test the effects of remnant flat oyster reefs on the nutrient cycling, by applying three different situ measurement techniques. The fieldwork will be conducted with the support from technical offers, and laboratory processing by the student. The results are expected to inform future restoration and culturing programs for flat oysters being developed in Tasmania and nationally.

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
September 12, 2022