Oyster breakwater reefs promote adjacent mudflat stability and salt marsh growth in a monsoon dominated subtropical coast

Mohammed Shah Nawaz Chowdhury*, Brenda Walles, Sm Sharifuzzaman, M. Shahadat Hossain, Tom Ysebaert, Aad C. Smaal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Oyster reefs have the potential as eco-engineers to improve coastal protection. A field experiment was undertaken to assess the benefit of oyster breakwater reefs to mitigate shoreline erosion in a monsoon-dominated subtropical system. Three breakwater reefs with recruited oysters were deployed on an eroding intertidal mudflat at Kutubdia Island, the southeast Bangladesh coast. Data were collected on wave dissipation by the reef structures, changes in shoreline profile, erosion-accretion patterns, and lateral saltmarsh movement and related growth. This was done over four seasons, including the rainy monsoon period. The observed wave heights in the study area ranged 0.1–0.5 m. The reefs were able to dissipate wave energy and act as breakwaters for tidal water levels between 0.5–1.0 m. Waves were totally blocked by the vertical relief of the reefs at water levels <0.5 m. On the lee side of the reefs, there was accretion of 29 cm clayey sediments with erosion reduction of 54% as compared to control sites. The changes caused by the deployed reefs also facilitated seaward expansion of the salt marsh. This study showed that breakwater oyster reefs can reduce erosion, trap suspended sediment, and support seaward saltmarsh expansion demonstrating the potential as a nature-based solution for protecting the subtropical coastlines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8549
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2019

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breakwater
mudflat
saltmarsh
monsoon
reef
coast
erosion
shoreline
water level
accretion
coastal protection
wave height
wave energy
suspended sediment
dissipation
relief

Cite this

@article{c7b4245f898a4f1195c469f3e925f561,
title = "Oyster breakwater reefs promote adjacent mudflat stability and salt marsh growth in a monsoon dominated subtropical coast",
abstract = "Oyster reefs have the potential as eco-engineers to improve coastal protection. A field experiment was undertaken to assess the benefit of oyster breakwater reefs to mitigate shoreline erosion in a monsoon-dominated subtropical system. Three breakwater reefs with recruited oysters were deployed on an eroding intertidal mudflat at Kutubdia Island, the southeast Bangladesh coast. Data were collected on wave dissipation by the reef structures, changes in shoreline profile, erosion-accretion patterns, and lateral saltmarsh movement and related growth. This was done over four seasons, including the rainy monsoon period. The observed wave heights in the study area ranged 0.1–0.5 m. The reefs were able to dissipate wave energy and act as breakwaters for tidal water levels between 0.5–1.0 m. Waves were totally blocked by the vertical relief of the reefs at water levels <0.5 m. On the lee side of the reefs, there was accretion of 29 cm clayey sediments with erosion reduction of 54{\%} as compared to control sites. The changes caused by the deployed reefs also facilitated seaward expansion of the salt marsh. This study showed that breakwater oyster reefs can reduce erosion, trap suspended sediment, and support seaward saltmarsh expansion demonstrating the potential as a nature-based solution for protecting the subtropical coastlines.",
author = "Chowdhury, {Mohammed Shah Nawaz} and Brenda Walles and Sm Sharifuzzaman and {Shahadat Hossain}, M. and Tom Ysebaert and Smaal, {Aad C.}",
year = "2019",
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doi = "10.1038/s41598-019-44925-6",
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Oyster breakwater reefs promote adjacent mudflat stability and salt marsh growth in a monsoon dominated subtropical coast. / Chowdhury, Mohammed Shah Nawaz; Walles, Brenda; Sharifuzzaman, Sm; Shahadat Hossain, M.; Ysebaert, Tom; Smaal, Aad C.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 9, No. 1, 8549, 12.06.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Oyster breakwater reefs promote adjacent mudflat stability and salt marsh growth in a monsoon dominated subtropical coast

AU - Chowdhury, Mohammed Shah Nawaz

AU - Walles, Brenda

AU - Sharifuzzaman, Sm

AU - Shahadat Hossain, M.

AU - Ysebaert, Tom

AU - Smaal, Aad C.

PY - 2019/6/12

Y1 - 2019/6/12

N2 - Oyster reefs have the potential as eco-engineers to improve coastal protection. A field experiment was undertaken to assess the benefit of oyster breakwater reefs to mitigate shoreline erosion in a monsoon-dominated subtropical system. Three breakwater reefs with recruited oysters were deployed on an eroding intertidal mudflat at Kutubdia Island, the southeast Bangladesh coast. Data were collected on wave dissipation by the reef structures, changes in shoreline profile, erosion-accretion patterns, and lateral saltmarsh movement and related growth. This was done over four seasons, including the rainy monsoon period. The observed wave heights in the study area ranged 0.1–0.5 m. The reefs were able to dissipate wave energy and act as breakwaters for tidal water levels between 0.5–1.0 m. Waves were totally blocked by the vertical relief of the reefs at water levels <0.5 m. On the lee side of the reefs, there was accretion of 29 cm clayey sediments with erosion reduction of 54% as compared to control sites. The changes caused by the deployed reefs also facilitated seaward expansion of the salt marsh. This study showed that breakwater oyster reefs can reduce erosion, trap suspended sediment, and support seaward saltmarsh expansion demonstrating the potential as a nature-based solution for protecting the subtropical coastlines.

AB - Oyster reefs have the potential as eco-engineers to improve coastal protection. A field experiment was undertaken to assess the benefit of oyster breakwater reefs to mitigate shoreline erosion in a monsoon-dominated subtropical system. Three breakwater reefs with recruited oysters were deployed on an eroding intertidal mudflat at Kutubdia Island, the southeast Bangladesh coast. Data were collected on wave dissipation by the reef structures, changes in shoreline profile, erosion-accretion patterns, and lateral saltmarsh movement and related growth. This was done over four seasons, including the rainy monsoon period. The observed wave heights in the study area ranged 0.1–0.5 m. The reefs were able to dissipate wave energy and act as breakwaters for tidal water levels between 0.5–1.0 m. Waves were totally blocked by the vertical relief of the reefs at water levels <0.5 m. On the lee side of the reefs, there was accretion of 29 cm clayey sediments with erosion reduction of 54% as compared to control sites. The changes caused by the deployed reefs also facilitated seaward expansion of the salt marsh. This study showed that breakwater oyster reefs can reduce erosion, trap suspended sediment, and support seaward saltmarsh expansion demonstrating the potential as a nature-based solution for protecting the subtropical coastlines.

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