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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Benthic assemblages on artificial reefs in the northwestern Adriatic Sea: Does structure type and age matter?

Published source details

Ponti M., Fava F., Perlini R.A., Giovanardi O. & Abbiati M. (2015) Benthic assemblages on artificial reefs in the northwestern Adriatic Sea: Does structure type and age matter? Marine Environmental Research, 104, 10-19


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Create artificial reefs of different 3-D structure and material used Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2006–2012 of an unspecified number of artificial reefs made of pyramids and tubes created on muddy seabed 2 nm offshore of the Po River Delta, northern Mediterranean Sea, Italy (Ponti et al. 2015) found that “sea-friendly” concrete pyramid reefs developed a different invertebrate community composition compared to bundle reefs of traditional concrete tubes, after 2–6 years depending on creation year. For reefs deployed in 2006, pyramid reefs had similar communities to bundle reefs by 2009, but different ones by 2012. For reefs deployed in 2010, pyramid reefs developed different communities to bundle reefs by 2012. Community data were presented as graphical analyses. In addition, at all times, species richness was higher on bundle reefs (38–55 species/sample) compared to pyramid reefs (33–45 species/sample). In 2006 and 2010, artificial reefs made of either pyramids of “sea-friendly” concrete slabs or bundles of traditional concrete tubes were created at 13–14 m depths (see paper for details). Divers surveyed the external sides of four randomly-chosen structures for each reef type in 2009 and 2012. For each structure, invertebrates were identified and counted from four 20 × 20 cm quadrats. They were also identified, and their percent cover estimated from six photographs/structure (21 × 26 cm).

(Summarised by Anaëlle Lemasson)