Locate artificial reefs near aquaculture systems to benefit from nutrient run-offs

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    35%
  • Certainty
    24%
  • Harms
    0%

Study locations

Key messages

  • Two studies examined the effects of locating artificial reefs near aquaculture systems to benefit from nutrient run-offs on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations. One study was in the Gulf of Aqaba (Israel and Jordan), and one in the Mediterranean Sea (Spain).

 

COMMUNITY RESPONSE (1 STUDY)

  • Overall community composition (1 study): One controlled study in the Mediterranean Sea found that an artificial reef located under aquaculture cages had similar invertebrate community composition to artificial reefs located at sites without aquaculture cages.

POPULATION RESPONSE (1 STUDY)

  • Overall abundance (1 study): One controlled study in the Gulf of Aqaba found that an artificial reef located at an aquaculture site had similar invertebrate biomass growing on it compared to an artificial reef located at a site without aquaculture cages.

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 controlled study in 1999–2000 of two artificial reefs in an area of sand and seagrass in the Gulf of Aqaba (Gulf of Eilat), Red Sea, Israel and Jordan (Angel et al. 2002) found that, after one year, an artificial reef deployed at an aquaculture site did not appear to develop a higher biomass of sessile invertebrates compared to an artificial reef deployed at a site without aquaculture activity. Data were not statistically tested. Biomass of invertebrates varied between the two reefs following deployment and tended to be similar after a year (approximately 700 kg/reef). In March 1999, two artificial reefs (8.2 m3) were deployed at 20 m depth: one at a fish farm, and another at a site 500 m west of the fish farm without aquaculture activity. Each reef held multiple 30 × 45 cm sample plates used for invertebrates to colonise. Three plates were sampled monthly from each artificial reef, photographed, dried, and the biomass of attached invertebrates recorded.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A controlled study in 2006–2007 of three sites in one soft seabed area off the coast of Murcia, Mediterranean Sea, southeastern Spain (Aguado-Giménez et al. 2011) found that, after one year, an artificial reef deployed underneath aquaculture cages did not develop a more diverse invertebrate community compared to artificial reefs deployed at sites without aquaculture cages. Invertebrate community composition varied during the year following deployment, but the artificial reef located under the cages had similar invertebrate community composition to those located away from the cages at each sampling time (data presented as statistical model results). In May 2006, three biofilter-like artificial reefs were deployed at 37–38 m depths: one underneath aquaculture cages, and two at sites without cages located 1.3 and 1 km away from the aquaculture site respectively. Each reef held multiple 30 × 30 cm sample units. Four randomly-chosen units were sampled by divers in summer and autumn 2006, winter 2006/07, and spring and summer 2007, at each reef. Invertebrates growing on the structures were identified and counted for each unit.

    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

All the journals searched for all synopses

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

What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust