Habitat formation prevails over predation in influencing fouling communities

  • Published source details Leclerc J.-C. & Viard F. (2018) Habitat formation prevails over predation in influencing fouling communities. Ecology & Evolution, 8, 477-492.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create short flexible habitats (1–50 mm) on subtidal artificial structures

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures
  1. Create short flexible habitats (1–50 mm) on subtidal artificial structures

    A replicated, randomized, paired sites, controlled study in 2014 on eight subtidal pontoons in two marinas in the English Channel and the Élorn estuary, France (Leclerc & Viard 2018) found that creating short flexible habitats (polypropylene turf) on settlement plates did not increase the invertebrate species richness or the mobile invertebrate abundance on plates, but had mixed effects on the non-mobile invertebrate abundance and the community composition, depending on the turf density and site. Mobile invertebrate species richness and abundance was similar on plates with high-density turf (22–33 species/plate, 189–1,093 individuals/plate), low-density turf (23–34 species/plate, 194–1,132 individuals/plate) and plates without turf (19–27 species/plate, 132–1,019 individuals/plate). The same was true for non-mobile invertebrate species richness (high-density: 6–10 species/plate; low-density: 8–11/plate; no turf: 7–12/plate), and their abundance at one of two sites (high-density: 95–143% cover; low-density: 90–114%; no turf: 101–119%). At the second site, abundance was lower on plates with turf (high-density: 108–156%; low-density: 117–151%) than without (120–192%). Invertebrate community composition differed on plates with and without turf in four of eight comparisons, but was similar in the other four (data reported as statistical model results). Plastic settlement plates (180 × 180 mm) were made with and without short flexible habitats (polypropylene turf). Plates with turf (blade length: 30 mm; width: 2 mm) had either high (100% cover) or low (50%) turf density. One of each was randomly arranged vertically at 1 m depth beneath each of four pontoons in each of two marinas in May 2014. Invertebrates on plates were counted in the laboratory after three months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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