Contemporary oyster reef restoration: responding to a changing world

Alice H. Howie*, Melanie J. Bishop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Downloads (Pure)


Globally, there is growing interest in restoring previously widespread oyster reefs to reinstate key ecosystem services such as shoreline protection, fisheries productivity and water filtration. Yet, since peak expiration of oysters in the 1800s, significant and ongoing environmental change has occurred. Estuaries and coasts are undergoing some of the highest rates of urbanization, warming and ocean acidification on the planet, necessitating novel approaches to restoration. Here, we review key design considerations for oyster reef restoration projects that maximize the probability that they will meet biological and socio-economic goals not only under present-day conditions, but into the future. This includes selection of sites, and where required, substrates and oyster species and genotypes for seeding, not only on the basis of their present and future suitability in supporting oyster survival, growth and reproduction, but also based on their match to specific goals of ecosystem service delivery. Based on this review, we provide a road map of design considerations to maximize the success of future restoration projects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number689915
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • climate change
  • coastal development
  • ecosystem services
  • habitat suitability modeling
  • nature based solutions
  • seeding
  • site selection
  • substrate


Dive into the research topics of 'Contemporary oyster reef restoration: responding to a changing world'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this