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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Tuesday, November 3 • 11:40am - 12:00pm
Evaluation of Biological and Physical Parameters of Natural and Restored Oyster Reefs in Georgia

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Tiffany Taubenheim, Savannah State University; Matthew Ogburn, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center; Dionne Hoskins, NOAA Fisheries

Small scale oyster restoration projects have often lacked long term monitoring using standardized methods. Little is known about how functions like water filtration, promotion of species richness, or shoreline stabilization can be developed using different restoration methods in the construction of restored reefs. The purpose of this study was to test quick and inexpensive methods for monitoring physical and biological parameters of natural and restored oyster reefs. Oyster density, percent cover, reef height, and reef rugosity (structural complexity) were collected during the summer and fall at nineteen sites; twelve restored reefs and seven natural reefs. Natural reefs had higher mean oyster densities, height, and rugosity than restored reefs throughout the study. Mean oyster density at restored reefs increased in the upper section and decreased in the lower section over the monitoring period resembling patterns on natural reefs. Mean reef height and rugosity increased from 2011 to 2012, but decreased in 2013. The methods used in the present study revealed that most restored reefs had higher percent cover and density of live oysters than natural reefs, but did not yet share all of their biological and physical characteristics.

Tuesday November 3, 2015 11:40am - 12:00pm EST

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