Study

Coral recruitment and early benthic community development on several materials used in the construction of artificial reefs and breakwaters

  • Published source details Burt J., Bartholomew A., Bauman A., Saif A. & Sale P.F. (2009) Coral recruitment and early benthic community development on several materials used in the construction of artificial reefs and breakwaters. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 373, 72-78.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use environmentally-sensitive material on subtidal artificial structures

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

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2007–2008 on two subtidal breakwaters and two rocky reefs on open coastline in the Persian Gulf, United Arab Emirates (Burt et al. 2009) found that sandstone, terracotta, granite, gabbro and concrete settlement plates supported similar macroalgae and invertebrate community composition and abundances, while juvenile coral (Scleractinia, Alcyonacea) abundances varied depending on the site. After 12 months, macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrate cover was similar on sandstone (65%), terracotta (75%), granite (85%), gabbro (80%) and concrete (79%) settlement plates. The same was true for abundances of macroalgal turf, coralline algae (Corallinales), sponges (Porifera), bryozoans (Bryozoa) and ascidians (Ascidiacea) (data not reported) and the community composition (data reported as statistical model results). At one of four sites, juvenile corals were more abundant on gabbro (7 colonies/plate) than sandstone (3/plate) and concrete (3/plate) plates, while no other significant differences were found (terracotta: 7/plate; granite: 5/plate). At the other sites, few corals were recorded with no significant differences between materials (all 0/plate). Settlement plates (100 × 100 mm) were made from sandstone, terracotta, granite, gabbro and concrete. Twenty-five of each were randomly arranged horizontally 10–15 mm above the substrate at 4 m depth on each of two breakwaters and two rocky reefs in April 2007. Macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrates on the undersides of plates were counted from photographs and juvenile corals in the laboratory after 12 months. Twenty-five plates were missing and no longer provided habitat.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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