Discipline: Biological Sciences
Patrick Clower - Savannah State University
Co-Author(s): Tiffany Taubenheim and Dionne Hoskins
Oyster reefs have been restored along the east coast in an effort to increase the population of eastern oysters. These restored reefs have been monitored to determine what restoration methods work best. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the reef slope at these oyster reefs affected oyster density and to compare the mean oyster density between upper and lower sections of natural and restored reefs. Data were collected at low tides during the summer and assessed using SAS software (Cary, N.C.). The majority of variation in oyster density was not attributed to reef slope (R2 = 0.0078). Oyster density differed significantly between the upper and lower sections of natural reefs (p = 0.0002). However, the difference between upper and lower sections of restored reefs was not statistically significant (p=0.9302). While slope did not impact oyster density significantly, choosing a location with a moderate slope is ideal. Natural reefs in coastal Georgia generally have a greater abundance of live oysters in the upper sections of reef, and in this study the majority of restored reefs are exhibiting this characteristic with the exception of a couple of sites. Future sampling of these restored sites will allow comparable timelines to observe the success or failure of restored oyster reefs.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Funding provided by the SSU Bridge to Science in Marine Sciences Program (NSF-OCE 1156525 and NSF-OCE 1460457).
Faculty Advisor: Dionne Hoskins,