Patchiness in resource distribution mitigates habitat loss: insights from high‐shore grazers

  • Published source details Skov M.W., Hawkins S.J., Volkelt-Igoe M., Pike J., Thompson R.C. & Doncaster C.P. (2011) Patchiness in resource distribution mitigates habitat loss: insights from high‐shore grazers. Ecosphere, 2, 1-17.


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, randomized study in 2006–2008 on an intertidal seawall on open coastline in the English Channel, UK (Skov et al. 2011) found that pit habitats created on the seawall supported similar periwinkle Melarhaphe neritoides abundance regardless of the pit patchiness, but that increasing the pit density increased their abundance. Over 24 months, seawall surfaces with patchy pits supported similar periwinkle abundance (132–176 individuals/surface) to surfaces with evenly-spaced pits (170–208/surface). Abundance increased with increasing pit density (4 pits: 52 individuals/surface; 16 pits: 178/surface; 36 pits: 285/surface; 64 pits: 343/surface) but it was not clear which densities differed significantly from which. Pit habitats were created by drilling into a vertical concrete seawall in June 2006. Arrays of round pits (diameter: 10 mm; depth: 7 mm) were patchy (four patches/surface) or evenly-spaced on 500 × 500 mm seawall surfaces, with different densities (4, 16, 36 or 64 pits/surface). There were three surfaces with each arrangement-density combination randomly arranged at highshore. Existing cracks and holes were filled with cement and organisms were removed from surfaces when pits were created, then small periwinkles were counted on surfaces during low tide over 24 months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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