Drill-cored artificial rock pools can promote biodiversity and enhance community structure on coastal rock revetments at reclaimed coastlines of Penang, Malaysia

  • Published source details Chee S.Y., Wee J.L.S., Wong C., Yee J.C., Yusup Y. & Mujahid A. (2020) Drill-cored artificial rock pools can promote biodiversity and enhance community structure on coastal rock revetments at reclaimed coastlines of Penang, Malaysia. Tropical Conservation Science, 13, 1-15.


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 2015–2018 on three intertidal seawalls in Penang Strait, Malaysia (Chee et al. 2020) found that rock pools created on the seawalls supported higher macroalgae and invertebrate species richness than seawall surfaces without pools. After 36 months, a total of 14 macroalgae and invertebrate species were recorded in pools and six on seawall surfaces without (data not statistically tested). Average species richness was higher in pools (13 species/pool) than on seawall surfaces (6/surface). Community composition (data reported as statistical model results) and species richness were similar in deep and shallow pools (both 11 species/pool). Thirteen species (1 macroalgae, 11 mobile invertebrates, 1 non-mobile invertebrate) recorded in pools over 36 months were absent from seawall surfaces. Rock pools were created in October 2015 by drilling into horizontal surfaces of three granite boulder seawalls using a core-drill. Fifteen deep (depth: 120 mm; volume: 2.1 l) and 15 shallow (50 mm; 0.9 l) cylindrical pools (diameter: 150 mm) were drilled at midshore on each seawall. Pools were compared with seawall surfaces, cleared of organisms, adjacent to each pool, with surface areas matching the inside pool surfaces (deep: 270 × 270 mm; shallow: 200 × 200 mm). Macroalgae and invertebrates were counted in pools and on seawall surfaces during low tide over 36 months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust