ICCE 2022

How to Cite

OYSTER REEF AND MUSSEL BED SURROGATES SUBJECTED TO WAVES. (2023). Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 37, waves.32. https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v37.waves.32


Benthic bivalve organisms are important eco-engineers for coastal ecosystems. They create habitats for many other species, attenuate waves and currents, enhance the water quality through filter-feeding, and stabilize seabed sediments. In shallow marine environments, they form bio-encrusted surfaces with large horizontal expanses. In the German Wadden Sea, these bio-encrusted surfaces account for roughly 6 percent of the tidal basins. A common feature of bio-encrusted surfaces by different species is the formation of a complex three-dimensional (3D) relief and increased hydraulic roughness compared to the surrounding sea floor. The potential for dissipating wave energy due to bed friction has been recognized in several studies (e.g., Donker et al. 2013; Manis et al. 2015) and applied as a nature-based solution (NbS) for coastal protection, e.g., on the East Coast of the USA (Morris et al. 2021). However, systematic studies on wave-biota interactions are still missing, which are needed to derive comprehensive recommendations for their use as NbS in costal protection.


Donker, J., van der Vegt, M., Hoekstra, P. (2013): Wave forcing over an intertidal mussel bed. J. Sea Res. 82, pp. 54–66. doi: 10.1016/j.seares.2012.08.010.

Hitzegrad, J., Brohmann, L., Pfennings, K., Hoffmann, T. K., Eilrich, A. K., Paul, M. et al. (2022): Oyster Reef Surfaces in the Central Wadden Sea: Intra-Reef Classification and Comprehensive Statistical Description. Front. Mar. Sci. 9. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2022.808018.

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Manis, J. E., Garvis, S. K., Jachec, S. M., Walters, L. J. (2015): Wave attenuation experiments over living shorelines over time: a wave tank study to assess recreational boating pressures. J. Coast. Conserv. 19 (1), pp. 1–11. doi: 10.1007/s11852-014-0349-5.

Morris, R. L., La Peyre, M. K., Webb, B. M., Marshall, D. A., Bilkovic, D. M., Cebrian, J. et al. (2021): Large-scale variation in wave attenuation of oyster reef living shorelines and the influence of inundation duration. Ecol. Appl. 31 (6). doi: 10.1002/eap.2382.

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Copyright (c) 2023 Jan Hitzegrad, Lisa Rentsch, Christian Windt, Nils Goseberg