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Individual study: Are artificial reefs comparable to neighbouring natural rocky areas? A mollusc case study in the Gulf of Castellammare (NW Sicily)

Published source details

Badalamenti F. (2002) Are artificial reefs comparable to neighbouring natural rocky areas? A mollusc case study in the Gulf of Castellammare (NW Sicily). ICES Journal of Marine Science, 59, S127-S131


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Create artificial reefs Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 1995 of three artificial and two natural reefs in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of northwest Sicily, Italy (Badalamenti et al. 2002) found that artificial reefs developed similar molluscan abundance but not species richness or diversity to natural reefs after three years. Abundance was similar on artificial reefs (41–50 individuals/sample) and natural reefs (abundance: 19–42 individuals/sample). However, molluscan species richness and diversity (as diversity indices) were lower on artificial reefs (4–11 species/sample) compared to natural reefs (10–27 species/sample). Of the 166 species found in total across all reefs, only 29% were found on both artificial and natural reefs. In spring 1995, molluscs were surveyed on three artificial reefs made of concrete created three years earlier and two nearby natural reefs (0.5–4.5 km from the artificial reefs). A total of 28 samples (400 cm2 each) were manually collected at 16–22 m depth (4–8/artificial reef; 4/natural reef). All molluscs were identified and counted.

(Summarised by Anaëlle Lemasson)