Dataset: Global oyster reef restoration and recovery
This data set has been put together to incude data on oyster reef restoration, particularly to investigate how diversity and species abundance recover post restoration.
THe data is affiliated to the following study:
Hemraj, D.A., Bishop, M.J., Hancock, B., Minuti, J.J., Thurstan, R.H., Zu Ermgassen, P.S. and Russell, B.D., 2022. Global success in oyster reef restoration despite ongoing recovery debt. bioRxiv.
Habitat destruction and biodiversity loss from exploitation of ecosystems have led to increased restoration and conservation efforts worldwide. Disturbed ecosystems accumulate a recovery debt – the accumulated loss of ecosystem services - and quantifying this debt presents a valuable tool to develop better ecosystem restoration practices. Here, we quantified the ongoing recovery debt following structural restoration of oyster habitats, one of the most degraded marine ecosystems worldwide. We found that whilst restoration initiates a rapid increase in biodiversity and abundance of 2- to 5-fold relative to unrestored habitat, recovery rate decreases substantially within a few years post-restoration and accumulated global recovery debt persists at >35% per annum. Therefore, while efficient restoration methods will produce enhanced recovery success and minimise recovery debt, potential future coastal development should be weighed up against not just the instantaneous damage to ecosystem functions and services but also the potential for generational loss of services and long-term recovery.