Today we celebrate World Ocean Day!
Environment Institute marine researchers are using the natural relationships between bivalves and macroalgae to enhance the restoration of South Australia’s lost reef ecosystems.
Over 150 years ago, oyster reefs, kelp forests, and seagrass meadows lined the South Australian coastline. These ecosystems provided a rich and productive marine environment but due to historical mismanagement these habitats were lost. Environment Institute’s Professor Sean Connell, Dr Dominic Mcafee and colleagues are harnessing the positive interactions that naturally occur between these habitats to synergize the recovery of these valuable marine ecosystems. Using a multi-habitat approach to restoration, researchers combine oyster reef restoration with kelp transplants that improve conditions for oysters to thrive, and seagrass restoration to flourish at the base of these considered reefs. This creates habitat mosaics that will enhance the health, productivity and resilience of the restored communities.
This valuable research contributes to the extensive restoration effort of the South Australia’s lost reef ecosystems.