Study

A global analysis of complexity-biodiversity relationships on marine artificial structures

  • Published source details Strain E.M.A., Steinberg P.D., Vozzo M., Johnston E.L., Abbiati M., Aguilera M.A., Airoldi L., Aguirre J.D., Ashton G., Bernardi M., Brooks P., Chan B.K.K., Cheah C.B., Chee S.Y., Coutinho R., Crowe T.P., Davey A., Firth L.B., Fraser C., Hanley M.E., Hawkins S.J., Knick K.E., Lau E.T.C., Leung K.M.Y., McKenzie C., Macleod C., Mafanya S., Mancuso F.P., Messano L.V.R., Naval-Xavier L.P.D., Ng T.P.T., O'Shaughnessy K.A., Pattrick P., Perkins M.J., Perkol-Finkel S., Porri F. & et al. (2021) A global analysis of complexity-biodiversity relationships on marine artificial structures. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 30, 140-153.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create grooves and small protrusions, ridges or ledges (1–50 mm) on intertidal artificial structures

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures
  1. Create grooves and small protrusions, ridges or ledges (1–50 mm) on intertidal artificial structures

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2015–2017 on 27 intertidal seawalls and breakwaters in 14 estuaries and bays worldwide (Strain et al. 2021) found that creating groove habitats and small ridges on settlement plates had mixed effects on the macroalgae and invertebrate species richness and abundance on plates, depending on the depth/height of grooves and ridges, the location, shore level and species group. After 12 months, plates with deep/tall grooves and ridges supported higher macroalgae and invertebrate species richness (4–28 species/plate) than plates without grooves and ridges (2–12/plate) in 11 of 14 locations, while in three locations there was no significant difference (2–6 vs 2–8/plate). Plates with shallow/short grooves and ridges supported higher richness (6–19/plate) than plates without (3–12/plate) in seven of 14 locations, while in seven locations there was no significant difference (both 2–8/plate). Out of 28 comparisons each time, plates with grooves and ridges supported higher macroalgal richness than plates without in two comparisons, higher macroalgal abundance in four, higher non-mobile invertebrate richness in 16, higher non-mobile invertebrate abundance in 11, and higher mobile invertebrate richness and abundance in 13 comparisons each. In all other comparisons, plates with and without grooves and ridges were similar (data not reported). [Significance results reported from Tables S5a,b in original paper]. Concrete settlement plates (250 × 250 mm) were moulded with and without groove habitats and small ridges. Plates with grooves and ridges had four vertical grooves (length: 250 mm; width: 15–50 mm) between five ridges (length: 250 mm; width: 17–65 mm). Grooves and ridges were either deep/tall (depth/height: 50 mm) or shallow/short (25 mm). Five of each were randomly arranged at highshore, midshore or lowshore on each of two vertical seawalls/breakwaters in each of 14 estuaries/bays worldwide between November 2015–2016. Plates had textured surfaces. Macroalgae and invertebrates on plates were counted in the laboratory after 12 months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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