Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Eighteen native oyster experimental reefs (16-m2 each) were restored using six oyster densities (0, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 250 adult oysters m-2) with three replicates of each density at each of two sites: one subtidal site in Onancock Creek, Virginia and one intertidal site in Hillcrest Oyster Sanctuary within The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve. A science-based monitoring program explored quantitative relationships between structural and functional characteristics of these restored reefs. Structural parameters examined included oyster abundance, oyster size/biomass, surface shell volume, reef topographic complexity and sediment characteristics. Functional parameters included denitrification rates and macrofaunal abundance and biomass. Data were collected from the intertidal site during six sampling periods between April 2012 and July 2013 and from the subtidal site in April and June 2012. Relationships between reef structural parameters and functional parameters were complex and variable. As of July 2014, the intertidal reefs continue to serve as a platform for continued studies of the relationships between reef structural and functional characteristics.


A final report to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Chesapeake Bay Office.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Chesapeake Bay Office



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