Refill disused borrow pits

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    60%
  • Certainty
    32%
  • Harms
    0%

Source countries

Key messages

  • One study examined the effects of refilling disused borrow pits on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations. The study was in Barnegat Bay estuary (USA).

 

COMMUNITY RESPONSE (1 STUDY)

  • Overall richness/diversity (1 study): One before-and-after, site comparison study in Barnegat Bay estuary found that overall invertebrate species richness and diversity increased at a disused borrow pit after being refilled with sediments but remained lower than at a natural non-dredged site.

POPULATION RESPONSE (1 STUDY)

  • Overall abundance (1 study): One before-and-after, site comparison study in Barnegat Bay estuary found that overall invertebrate abundance increased at a disused borrow pit after being refilled with sediments but remained lower than at a natural non-dredged site.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A before-and-after, site comparison study in 2004–2007 of two soft seabed sites in Barnegat Bay estuary, New Jersey, USA (Reine et al. 2013) found that partially refilling a disused borrow pit led to increased invertebrate species richness, abundance and diversity after 2–3 years, but these remained lower than at a nearby natural site. Refilling the pit increased average species richness (before: 1–13; after: 14–24 taxa/sample), abundance (before: 0–144; after: 151–495 individuals/sample) and diversity (presented as diversity indices) but these remained lower than at the natural site (species: 40; abundance: 1,370). Abundance at the natural site had increased over the same time (before: 435; after: 1,370) and species richness remained stable (before: 40; after: 40). In 2004, a borrow pit was partially filled with dredged sand, reducing its depth from 11.5 m to 6 m and increasing relief complexity-. Once in 2006 and twice in 2007, eighteen sediment samples were collected at the restored pit and six at a nearby natural site using a grab (0.044 cm2, 6 cm depth). Invertebrates (>0.5 mm) were identified and counted. Data post-restoration (2006 and 2007) were pooled. Data prior to restoration were obtained from Versar (1999).

    Versar (1999). Biological sampling for dredged holes in Barnegat Bay, Ocean County, NJ. Data Report prepared for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, Philadelphia, PA.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Lemasson, A.J., Pettit, L.R., Smith, R.K. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation. Pages 635-732 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation - Published 2020

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