Study

Availability of microhabitats explains a widespread pattern and informs theory on ecological engineering of boulder reefs

  • Published source details Liversage K., Cole V., Coleman R. & McQuaid C. (2017) Availability of microhabitats explains a widespread pattern and informs theory on ecological engineering of boulder reefs. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 489, 36-42.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create small adjoining cavities or ‘swimthrough’ habitats (≤100 mm) on intertidal artificial structures

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures
  1. Create small adjoining cavities or ‘swimthrough’ habitats (≤100 mm) on intertidal artificial structures

    A replicated, controlled study (year not reported) in two intertidal boulder fields on open coastline in the Indian Ocean, South Africa (Liversage et al. 2017) found that small swimthrough habitats created under concrete blocks supported similar mobile invertebrate species richness, diversity and community composition to blocks without swimthroughs, but higher mobile invertebrate abundance. Swimthrough habitats supported similar mobile invertebrate species richness, diversity and community composition (data reported as statistical model results) but higher mobile invertebrate abundance (3 individuals/dm2) compared with blocks without swimthroughs (1/dm2). Small swimthrough habitats (length: 290 mm; width: 70 mm; height: 20 mm) were created on the undersides of concrete blocks (250 × 150 × 40 mm) using a mould. Twelve blocks with swimthroughs and 12 without were placed on the seabed in each of two natural boulder-fields (material, shore level and month/year not reported). Mobile invertebrates on the horizontal surface (roof) of swimthrough habitats and on the equivalent undersurface of blocks without swimthroughs were counted from photographs after seven weeks. Some blocks were missing and no longer provided habitat (numbers not reported).

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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