Operation Crayweed - Maroubra

Restoration Project

Operation Crayweed - Maroubra

Restoration Objective:

The aim of this study was to use genomics to determine the influence of transplant donor site on the success of restoration of Phyllospora comosa, in order to improve restoration outcomes and restore historical populations.

Site Selection Criteria:

Sites were selected that were moderately exposed with large, flat boulders at 4-5m depth and no crayweed present.

Key Reasons For Decline:

Water Pollution

Scientific Paper

Using genomics to optimise and evaluate the performance of underwater forest restoration

A. Vergés, Wood G., Marzinelli E.M., Campbell A.H., Steinberg P.D., Coleman M.A
Journal of Applied Ecology.

Site Observations:

Observation Date

15th Oct 2017 – 13th Apr 2018

Action Summary:

Algae were transplanted over 1-3 days by cable-tying individuals in natural densities (15 algae/m2) to 6 x 2m2 plastic mats per site that had been attached to the rocky reef. Mats were placed on top of bare rock or turfing corallines, 0.5 - 5m apart depending on substrata availability. Individuals from the two donor sites were evenly distributed (mixed) across each of the mats at each site, and identified using cable ties of different colours.

Lessons Learned:

Restoration was successful, and crayweed recruits were also observed.

Project Outcomes:

Between 13-40% of transplanted adults remained in restored sites after 6 months and c. 8% remained across all sites after 9 months. At 6 months, survival of adults sourced from BB (31.3%, SE 3.56%) was significantly higher than those sourced from SP (19.1%, SE 3.56). Most of the remaining algae had higher levels of epibiosis than when transplanted (<5%), with significantly higher epibiosis on adults sourced from SP (30.24%, SE 3.30%) than from BB (22.92%, SE 3.30%). Both of these patterns were consistent across all sites.

Key Reasons For Decline:

Water Pollution

Area of Restoration (Ha)


Indicator Data:


Ending Value:

Starting Value:

Percent Survival