Reefcrete: reducing the environmental footprint of concretes for eco-engineering marine structures

  • Published source details Dennis H.D., Evans A.J., Banner A.J. & Moore P.J. (2018) Reefcrete: reducing the environmental footprint of concretes for eco-engineering marine structures. Ecological Engineering, 120, 668-678.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use environmentally-sensitive material on intertidal artificial structures

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures
  1. Use environmentally-sensitive material on intertidal artificial structures

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2014–2015 on an intertidal rocky reef on open coastline in the Irish Sea, UK (Dennis et al. 2018) found that hemp-concrete and shell-concrete settlement plates supported higher macroalgae and invertebrate cover than standard-concrete plates, and that hemp-concrete supported higher species richness than shell- and standard-concrete plates, with different community composition to standard-concrete plates. After 12 months, macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrate cover was similar on hemp-concrete (92% cover) and shell-concrete (74%) plates, and higher on both than standard-concrete plates (25%). Mobile invertebrate species richness was higher on hemp-concrete (8 species groups/plate) than shell-concrete (4/plate) and standard-concrete (3/plate), which were similar. Macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrate species richness was similar on all materials (hemp: 7/plate; shell: 6/plate; standard: 5/plate). Macroalgae and invertebrate community composition differed on hemp-concrete and standard-concrete, but shell-concrete was similar to both (data reported as statistical model results). Settlement plates (150 × 150 mm) were moulded from hemp-concrete, shell-concrete and standard-concrete. Five of each were randomly arranged horizontally at mid-lowshore on a rocky reef in October 2014. Macroalgae and invertebrates on plates were counted in the laboratory after 12 months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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