Which concrete substrate suits you? Ostrea edulis larval preferences and implications for shellfish restoration in Europe

Type Article
Date 2021-04
Language English
Author(s) Potet MarineORCID1, Fabien Aurélie2, Chaudemanche Samuel2, Sebaidi Nassim2, Guillet Theo1, Gachelin Sonia3, Cochet Hélène4, Boutouil Mohamed2, Pouvreau StephaneORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer, Laboratory of Environmental Marine Sciences (UMR 6539 LEMAR), 29280 Plouzané, France
2 : COMUE Normandie Université, Laboratoire ESITC, ESITC Caen, 1 rue Pierre & Marie Curie, Épron, France
3 : Comité Régional Conchylicole de Bretagne Sud, 56400 Auray, France
4 : Bureau d'études COCHET Environnement, 56550 Locoal Mendon, France
Source Ecological Engineering (0925-8574) (Elsevier), 2021-04 , Vol. 162 , P. 106159 (13p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2021.106159
WOS© Times Cited 18
Keyword(s) Ostrea edulis, Larval recruitment, Artificial reef, Concrete, Seashell by-products, Restoration

The European flat oyster, Ostrea edulis, is an important ecosystem engineer that has been progressively disappearing from European coasts over the last century mainly due to overexploitation, habitat degradation and disease. It is now the subject of many conservation and restoration programs throughout Europe, including the Flat Oyster REcoVERy (FOREVER) project in France.

Protecting and managing the remaining populations has become a nature conservation priority because this species is able to build biogenic reefs, very specific habitats that provide many ecosystem functions and services. The availability of suitable hard substrates for larval fixation is a critical factor during this reef-building process. Although natural substrates are in short supply, production and deployment is an easy step to help oyster reef restoration.

The present study was carried out to improve artificial reef design and the composition of the concrete used to build them, focusing on the impact of concrete formulation and surface texture on larval settlement in the field. Nine bio-sourced concrete formulations and ten surface textures were evaluated. The number of settled larvae counted on each concrete substrate reflected their preferences, and results demonstrated that microscale surface texture has a greater impact on recruitment than concrete formulation, with larvae preferring to settle in depressions on a rough rock-like texture and avoiding flat, horizontal and exposed areas.

Physical and mechanical properties of the different formulations were also evaluated. Although they had almost no impact on recruitment, these results could be helpful for artificial reef-building (in terms of 3D design, durability, manufacture and deployment) and guide choices of materials that should be used and the proportion and granulometry of incorporated shells to obtain the best surface texture.

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Potet Marine, Fabien Aurélie, Chaudemanche Samuel, Sebaidi Nassim, Guillet Theo, Gachelin Sonia, Cochet Hélène, Boutouil Mohamed, Pouvreau Stephane (2021). Which concrete substrate suits you? Ostrea edulis larval preferences and implications for shellfish restoration in Europe. Ecological Engineering, 162, 106159 (13p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2021.106159 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00679/79093/