Mussel beds are important bio-stabilizers that can shape marine ecosystems. Nowadays mussel beds often consist of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) and Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas). Both blue mussels and Pacific oysters filter particles from the water column and deposit those underneath and near the mussel bed, thereby elevating the sediment underneath the mussel bed and the mud flat surrounding the bed. As a result these bivalve beds form conspicuous structures that can influence tidal flow and wave action and, in doing so, modify patterns of sediment deposition, consolidation, and stabilization. For the Deltaprogram Wadden they offer promising possibilities for sustainable coastal protection combined with high natural values.
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