Creation of microhabitats (tidepools) in ripraps with climax communities as a way to mitigate negative effects of artificial substrate on marine biodiversity

  • Published source details Ostalé-Valriberas E., Sempere-Valverde J., Coppa S., García-Gómez J.C. & Espinosa F. (2018) Creation of microhabitats (tidepools) in ripraps with climax communities as a way to mitigate negative effects of artificial substrate on marine biodiversity. Ecological Engineering, 120, 522-531.


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 2014–2015 on one intertidal breakwater and two groynes on open coastline in the Alboran Sea, Spain (Ostalé-Valriberas et al. 2018) found that rock pools created on the structures supported different macroalgae and invertebrate community composition with higher species diversity and richness than structure surfaces without pools. After 12 months, macroalgae and invertebrate species diversity (data reported as Shannon index) and richness were higher in pools (9 species/pool) than on structure surfaces without (6/surface), and the community composition differed (data reported as statistical model results). Upper-midshore pools supported similar richness to lower-midshore ones (8 vs 9 species/pool). Eight species (4 macroalgae, 4 mobile invertebrates) recorded in pools were absent from structure surfaces without. Rock pools were created in February 2014 by drilling into horizontal surfaces of three limestone boulder structures (1 breakwater, 2 groynes; treated as 1 site) using a jackhammer. Five irregularly-shaped pools (average length: 176 mm; width: 137 mm; depth: ≤20 mm; volume: 0.4 l) were drilled at both upper-midshore and lower-midshore on each structure. Pools were compared with breakwater/groyne surfaces (200 × 200 mm) adjacent to each pool. Macroalgae and invertebrates were counted in pools and on structure surfaces from photographs over 12 months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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