Ecologically informed engineering reduces loss of intertidal biodiversity on artificial shorelines

  • Published source details Browne M.A. & Chapman M.G. (2011) Ecologically informed engineering reduces loss of intertidal biodiversity on artificial shorelines. Environmental Science & Technology, 45, 8204-8207.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create 'rock pools' on intertidal artificial structures

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures
  1. Create 'rock pools' on intertidal artificial structures

    A replicated, paired sites, controlled study in 2009–2010 on two intertidal seawalls in Sydney Harbour estuary, Australia (Browne & Chapman 2011, same experimental set-up as Browne & Chapman 2014) reported that rock pools created on the seawalls supported more macroalgae and invertebrate species than seawall surfaces without rock pools, but data were not statistically tested. After seven months, a total of 33 macroalgae and invertebrate species were recorded in pools compared with 20 on seawall surfaces without pools. Twenty-five species (5 macroalgae, 7 non-mobile invertebrates, 13 mobile invertebrates) recorded in pools were absent from seawall surfaces without. Rock pools were created by attaching concrete pots to vertical sandstone seawalls in December 2009. Six half-flowerpot shaped pools (top diameter: 360 mm; depth: 380 mm; volume: 10 l) were attached at midshore on each of two seawalls. Pools were compared with seawall surfaces (500 × 500 mm) adjacent to each pool. Macroalgae and invertebrates were counted in pools and on seawall surfaces during low tide after seven months. Two pools were missing and no longer provided habitat.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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