Create crevice habitats (>50 mm) on intertidal artificial structures
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
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Background information and definitions
Definition: ‘Crevice habitats’ are depressions with a length to width ratio >3:1 and depth >50 mm (modified “Crevices” from Strain et al. 2018).
Crevice habitats provide organisms refuge from desiccation and temperature fluctuations during low tide in intertidal rocky habitats (Williams & Morritt 1995). They also provide shelter from predation or grazing (Menge & Lubchenco 1981) and some species preferentially settle into them (Chabot & Bourget 1988). The size and density of crevices is likely to affect the size, abundance and variety of organisms that can use them. Small crevices can provide refuge for small-bodied organisms but may exclude larger organisms, limit their growth and get rapidly filled-up (Firth et al. 2020). Large crevices can be used by larger-bodied organisms but may not provide sufficient refuge from predators for smaller organisms. By default, crevices contain shaded surfaces, which can be associated with the presence of non-native species (Dafforn 2017).
Crevices sometimes form on artificial structures through erosion. However, these are often filled or repaired during maintenance works (Moreira et al. 2007) and are absent from many structures (Aguilera et al. 2014). Crevice habitats can be created on intertidal artificial structures by adding or removing material, either during construction or retrospectively.
See also: Create natural rocky reef topography on intertidal artificial structures; Create pit habitats (1–50 mm) on intertidal artificial structures; Create hole habitats (>50 mm) on intertidal artificial structures; Create groove habitats (1–50 mm) on intertidal artificial structures; Create ‘rock pools’ on intertidal artificial structures; Create small adjoining cavities or ‘swimthrough’ habitats (≤100 mm) on intertidal artificial structures; Create large adjoining cavities or ‘swimthrough’ habitats (>100 mm) on intertidal artificial structures; Create groove habitats and small protrusions, ridges or ledges (1–50 mm) on intertidal artificial structures.
Aguilera M.A., Broitman B.R. & Thiel M. (2014) Spatial variability in community composition on a granite breakwater versus natural rocky shores: lack of microhabitats suppresses intertidal biodiversity. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 87, 257–268.
Chabot R. & Bourget E. (1988) Influence of substratum heterogeneity and settled barnacle density on the settlement of cypris larvae. Marine Biology, 97, 45–56.
Dafforn K.A. (2017) Eco-engineering and management strategies for marine infrastructures to reduce establishment and dispersal of non-indigenous species. Management of Biological Invasions, 8, 153–161.
Firth L.B., Airoldi L., Bulleri F., Challinor S., Chee S.-Y., Evans A.J., Hanley M.E., Knights A.M., O’Shaughnessy K., Thompson R.C. & Hawkins S.J. (2020) Greening of grey infrastructure should not be used as a Trojan horse to facilitate coastal development. Journal of Applied Ecology, 57, 1762–1768.
Menge B.A. & Lubchenco J. (1981) Community organization in temperate and tropical rocky intertidal habitats: prey refuges in relation to consumer pressure gradients. Ecological Monographs, 51, 429–450.
Moreira J., Chapman M.G. & Underwood A.J. (2007) Maintenance of chitons on seawalls using crevices on sandstone blocks as habitat in Sydney Harbour, Australia. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 347, 134–143.
Strain E.M.A., Olabarria C., Mayer-Pinto M., Cumbo V., Morris R.L., Bugnot A.B., Dafforn K.A., Heery E., Firth L.B., Brooks P.R. & Bishop M.J. (2018) Eco-engineering urban infrastructure for marine and coastal biodiversity: which interventions have the greatest ecological benefit? Journal of Applied Ecology, 55, 426–441.
Williams G.A. & Morritt D. (1995) Habitat partitioning and thermal tolerance in a tropical limpet, Cellana grata. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 124, 89–103.
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This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures - Published 2021
Enhancing biodiversity of marine artificial structures synopsis