1. Since the collapse of the Ostrea edulis stock in the mid‐1800s the oyster has struggled to
re‐establish itself in self‐sustaining assemblages in Europe.
2. It is now widely recognized that O. edulis is an integral component of a healthy biologically
functional benthic environment and, as such, the restoration of wild stocks has become a
matter of urgency.
3. A major limiting factor in O. edulis stock recovery is the availability of suitable substrate
material for oyster larvae settlement.
4. This research re‐examined the larval settlement potential of several naturally occurring in‐situ
shell materials (e.g. Mytilus edulis, Modiolus modiolus, O. edulis), with the aim of determining
which shell material is the most appropriate for large‐scale restoration projects.
5. A positive correlation between available shell material and settlement was determined, and
analysis using PERMANOVA did not identify an attachment preference by O. edulis to any
particular shell type.
6. The findings suggest that if restoration efforts were coordinated with applied hydrodynamic
and habitat suitability modelling, in conjunction with naturally occurring shell substrate
concentrations, a cost‐effective recovery for O. edulis assemblages in the wild could be