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Oyster reefs at risk and recommendations for conservation, restoration, and management


Beck, MW and Brumbaugh, RD and Airoldi, L and Carranza, A and Coen, LD and Crawford, C and Defeo, O and Edgar, GJ and Hancock, B and Kay, MC and Lenihan, HS and Luckenbach, MW and Toropova, CL and Zhang, G and Guo, X, Oyster reefs at risk and recommendations for conservation, restoration, and management, Bioscience, 61, (2) pp. 107-116. ISSN 0006-3568 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © 2010 American Institute of Biological Sciences

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DOI: doi:10.1525/bio.2011.61.2.5


Native oyster reefs once dominated many estuaries, ecologically and economically. Centuries of resource extraction exacerbated by coastal degradation have pushed oyster reefs to the brink of functional extinction worldwide. We examined the condition of oyster reefs across 144 bays and 44 ecoregions; our comparisons of past with present abundances indicate that more than 90% of them have been lost in bays (70%) and ecoregions (63%). In many bays, more than 99% of oyster reefs have been lost and are functionally extinct. Overall, we estimate that 85% of oyster reefs have been lost globally. Most of the world’s remaining wild capture of native oysters (> 75%) comes from just five ecoregions in North America, yet the condition of reefs in these ecoregions is poor at best, except in the Gulf of Mexico. We identify many cost-effective solutions for conservation, restoration, and the management of fisheries and nonnative species that could reverse these oyster losses and restore reef ecosystem services.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:shellfish, oyster reef, marine conservation, fisheries, habitat restoration
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Coastal or estuarine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Crawford, C (Dr Christine Crawford)
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
ID Code:71224
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:755
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2011-07-11
Last Modified:2013-03-06
Downloads:14 View Download Statistics

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