Study

Ecological engineering across organismal scales: trophic-mediated positive effects of microhabitat enhancement on fishes

  • Published source details Taira D., Heery E.C., Loke L.H.L., Teo A., Bauman A.G. & Todd P.A. (2020) Ecological engineering across organismal scales: trophic-mediated positive effects of microhabitat enhancement on fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 656, 181-192.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures

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

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

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2018–2019 on an intertidal seawall on an island coastline in the Singapore Strait, Singapore (Taira et al. 2020) found that creating groove habitats on the seawall, along with pits, increased the macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrate abundance, fish species richness and abundance, and altered the fish community composition and behaviour on and around seawall surfaces. After 12 months, macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrate abundance was higher on seawall surfaces with grooves and pits (17% cover) than on surfaces without (4%). Over 12 months, fish community composition differed on and around surfaces with and without grooves and pits (data reported as statistical model results). Fish species richness and maximum abundance were higher on and around surfaces with grooves and pits (9–15 species and 14–29 individuals/60-minute survey) than without (7–14 species/survey, 10–25 individuals/survey), and fishes took more bites from surfaces with grooves and pits (18–456 vs 4–17 bites/survey). Eleven fish species recorded on and around surfaces with grooves and pits were absent from those without. It is not clear whether these effects were the direct result of creating grooves or pits. Concrete settlement plates (200 × 200 mm) were moulded with seven groove habitats amongst 37 pits, both with variable length, width and depth (2–56 mm). Twenty plates with grooves and pits were attached to 2.4 × 2.4 m seawall surfaces in seven irregularly-spaced patches. Plates had been naturally-colonized since February 2015. Six surfaces with plates and six without were randomly arranged, spanning low-highshore, on a granite boulder seawall in February 2018. Macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrates on seawall surfaces with and without plates were counted from photographs, while fishes and the number of bites they took were counted from 60-minute videos during each of seven high tides over 12 months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

  2. Create pit habitats (1–50 mm) on intertidal artificial structures

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2018–2019 on an intertidal seawall on an island coastline in the Singapore Strait, Singapore (Taira et al. 2020) found that creating pit habitats on the seawall, along with grooves, increased the macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrate abundance, fish species richness and abundance, and altered the fish community composition and behaviour on and around seawall surfaces. After 12 months, macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrate abundance was higher on seawall surfaces with pits and grooves (17% cover) than on surfaces without (4%). Over 12 months, fish community composition differed on and around surfaces with and without pits and grooves (data reported as statistical model results). Fish species richness and maximum abundance were higher on and around surfaces with pits and grooves (9–15 species and 14–29 individuals/60-minute survey) than without (7–14 species/survey, 10–25 individuals/survey), and fishes took more bites from surfaces with pits and grooves (18–456 vs 4–17 bites/survey). Eleven fish species recorded on and around surfaces with pits and grooves were absent from those without. It is not clear whether these effects were the direct result of creating pits or grooves. Concrete settlement plates (200 × 200 mm) were moulded with 37 round pit habitats amongst seven grooves, both with variable length, width and depth (2–56 mm). Twenty plates with pits and grooves were attached to 2.4 × 2.4 m seawall surfaces in seven irregularly-spaced patches. Plates had been naturally-colonized since February 2015. Six surfaces with plates and six without were randomly arranged, spanning low-highshore, on a granite boulder seawall in February 2018. Macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrates on seawall surfaces with and without plates were counted from photographs, while fishes and the number of bites they took were counted from 60-minute videos during each of seven high tides over 12 months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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