Study

Can coir increase native biodiversity and reduce colonisation of non-indigenous species in eco-engineered rock pools?

  • Published source details Morris R.L., Golding S., Dafforn K.A. & Coleman R.A. (2018) Can coir increase native biodiversity and reduce colonisation of non-indigenous species in eco-engineered rock pools?. Ecological Engineering, 120, 622-630.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create short flexible habitats (1–50 mm) on intertidal artificial structures

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures

Create 'rock pools' on intertidal artificial structures

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures
  1. Create short flexible habitats (1–50 mm) on intertidal artificial structures

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2016 on two intertidal seawalls in Sydney Harbour estuary, Australia (Morris et al. 2018) found that adding short flexible habitats (coir panels) to rock pools created on the seawalls had mixed effects on macroalgae, invertebrate and fish community composition, species richness and abundances, depending on the species group and site. Over eight months, during low tide, a total of 44 macroalgae, invertebrate and fish species groups were recorded in pools with coir and 57 in pools without (data not statistically tested). Average macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrate species richness was lower in pools with coir (9 species/pool) than without (12/pool) and the community composition differed (data reported as statistical model results), while abundances varied depending on the species group and site (data not reported). Mobile invertebrate and fish species richness was also lower in pools with coir (2 species/pool) than without (3/pool), but their abundance was similar (data not reported), while effects on their community composition varied by site. During high tide, a total of 13 fish species were recorded in and around pools with coir and 14 in and around pools without, while 49 mobile invertebrate species groups were recorded in each. Average fish species richness, abundance, community composition, and the number of bites they took, were all similar in and around pools with and without coir (data not reported). Mobile invertebrate species richness in pools with coir (8–11 species/pool) and without (9–16/pool) varied by site, as did their abundances (data not reported), but the community composition was similar. Short flexible habitats (coir panels: 734 cm2, 15 mm fibre length, 168 fibres/cm2) were created on the inside vertical surfaces of concrete rock pools created on two vertical sandstone seawalls in January–February 2016. Five pools with coir and five without were randomly arranged at midshore in each of two sites along each seawall. Macroalgae, invertebrates and fishes were counted in pools during low tide over eight months. Mobile invertebrates and fishes were also surveyed during two high tides using a suction pump and videos, respectively. Three pools were missing and no longer provided habitat.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

  2. Create 'rock pools' on intertidal artificial structures

    A replicated, randomized study in 2016 on two intertidal seawalls in Sydney Harbour estuary, Australia (Morris, Golding, Dafforn & Coleman 2018) reported that rock pools created on the seawalls supported macroalgae, invertebrates and fishes, and found that adding short flexible habitats (coir panels) to pools had mixed effects on community composition, species richness and abundances depending on the species group and site. Over eight months, during low tide, a total of 44 macroalgae, invertebrate and fish species groups were recorded in pools with coir and 57 in pools without (data not statistically tested). Average macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrate species richness was lower in pools with coir (9 species/pool) than without (12/pool) and the community composition differed (data reported as statistical model results), while abundances varied depending on the species group and site (data not reported). Mobile invertebrate and fish species richness was also lower in pools with coir (2 species/pool) than without (3/pool), but their abundance was similar (data not reported), while effects on their community composition varied by site. During high tide, a total of 13 fish species were recorded in and around pools with coir and 14 in and around pools without, while 49 mobile invertebrate species groups were recorded in each. Average fish species richness, abundance, community composition, and the number of bites they took, were all similar in pools with and without coir (data not reported). Mobile invertebrate species richness in pools with coir (8–11 species/pool) and without (9–16/pool) varied by site, but the community composition was similar. Rock pools were created in January–February 2016 by attaching concrete pots to two vertical sandstone seawalls. Five half-flowerpot shaped pools (top diameter: 315 mm; depth: 300 mm; volume: 7 l) with coir panels on one inside surface and five without were randomly arranged at midshore in each of two sites along each seawall. Macroalgae, invertebrates and fishes were counted in pools during low tide over eight months. Mobile invertebrates and fishes were also surveyed during two high tides using a suction pump and videos, respectively. Three pools were missing and no longer provided habitat.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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