Replicating natural topography on marine artificial structures - a novel approach to eco-engineering

  • Published source details Evans A.J., Lawrence P.J., Natanzi A.S., Moore P.J., Davies A.J., Crowe T.P., McNally C., Thompson B., Dozier A.E. & Brooks P.R. (2021) Replicating natural topography on marine artificial structures - a novel approach to eco-engineering. Ecological Engineering, 160, 106144.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create natural rocky reef topography on intertidal artificial structures

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures
  1. Create natural rocky reef topography on intertidal artificial structures

    A study in 2019 on two intertidal breakwaters on open coastline in the Irish Sea, UK (Evans et al. 2021) reported that natural rocky reef topography created on the breakwaters supported macroalgae (Ulva spp.) and limpets (Patella spp.). Over four months, green macroalgae and adult and juvenile limpets were recorded on settlement plates with natural rocky reef topography. Limpets were seen using shaded grooves and water-retaining depressions created by the natural topography. Concrete settlement plates (250 Ă— 250 mm) were made with natural rocky reef topography moulded from digital scans of natural reef surfaces. Natural surfaces were selected based on the biodiversity they supported and measured features of the underlying topography. They were designed to target high species richness, rare species, or species that were common on natural reefs but not on artificial structures. Plates with natural topography were attached on horizontal surfaces of two granite boulder breakwaters in August 2019 (A. Evans, pers. comms.). Macroalgae and invertebrates on plates were counted during low tide over four months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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