Colonisation of wave power foundations by mobile mega- and macrofauna – a 12 year study

  • Published source details Bender A., Langhamer O. & Sundberg J. (2020) Colonisation of wave power foundations by mobile mega- and macrofauna – a 12 year study. Marine Environmental Research, 161, 105053.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create hole habitats (>50 mm) on subtidal artificial structures

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures
  1. Create hole habitats (>50 mm) on subtidal artificial structures

    A replicated, controlled study in 2007–2019 on 21 subtidal wave buoy foundations in the North Sea, off the coast of Sweden (Bender et al. 2020) found that creating hole habitats on foundations did not increase the mobile invertebrate and fish species diversity, richness or overall abundance, but did alter their community composition and increase brown crab Cancer pagurus abundances. After 12 years, the mobile invertebrate and fish species diversity (data reported as Shannon and Evenness indices), richness and abundance were similar on and around foundations with holes (10 species/foundation, 51 individuals/foundation) and those without (9 species/foundation, 33 individuals/foundation). The community composition, however, differed (data reported as statistical model results). Three mobile invertebrate species recorded on and around foundations with holes were absent from those without. Brown crabs were more abundant on and around foundations with holes (11/foundation) than without (4/foundation), while the abundances of 47 other fish and mobile invertebrates were similar for both (see paper for results). Hole habitats were created in April 2007 by drilling into the vertical sides of concrete foundations (diameter: 3 m; height: 1 m). There were 26 evenly-spaced cuboidal holes/foundation (width: 120 mm; height: 150 mm; depth: 300 mm): 13 at seabed level and 13 at 0.5 m above the seabed. Eleven foundations with holes and 10 without were placed on sandy seabed at 25 m depth. Fishes and mobile invertebrates were counted on and around (<1 m radius) foundations over 12 years. Holes at seabed level had been buried by sediment and no longer provided habitats.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

Output references
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 21

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 ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust