Low-crested coastal defence structures as artificial habitats for marine life: using ecological criteria in design

  • Published source details Moschella P.S., Abbiati M., Åberg P., Airoldi L., Anderson J.M., Bacchiocchi F., Bulleri F., Dinesen G.E., Frost M., Gacia E., Granhag L., Jonsson P.R., Satta M.P., Sundelöf A., Thompson R.C. & Hawkins S.J. (2005) Low-crested coastal defence structures as artificial habitats for marine life: using ecological criteria in design. Coastal Engineering, 52, 1053-1071.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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

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

    A replicated, controlled study in 2001–2002 on two intertidal breakwaters on open coastline in the English Channel, UK (Moschella et al. 2005) reported that creating pit habitats on the breakwaters increased the macroalgae and invertebrate species richness on breakwater surfaces. After 12 months, settlement plates with pits supported five species in total, while plates without pits supported two species (data not statistically tested). Concrete settlement plates (300 × 300 mm) were made with and without pit habitats. Plates had six large (diameter: 30 mm) or 13 small (15 mm) round pits (depth: 20 mm), or a mixture of four large and four small pits (spacing/arrangement not reported). Four plates of each and four without pits were attached to horizontal midshore surfaces on each of two granite boulder breakwaters in 2001 (year: M. Hanley pers. comms.; month not reported). Macroalgae and invertebrates were counted on plates with and without pits during low tide after 12 months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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