Floating pontoons create novel habitats for subtidal epibiota

  • Published source details Connell S.D. (2000) Floating pontoons create novel habitats for subtidal epibiota. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 247, 183-194.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use environmentally-sensitive material on subtidal artificial structures

Action Link
Biodiversity of Marine Artificial Structures
  1. Use environmentally-sensitive material on subtidal artificial structures

    A replicated, randomized, paired sites, controlled study in 1998–1999 on four subtidal pontoons and four rocky reefs in Sydney Harbour estuary, Australia (Connell 2000) found that sandstone and concrete settlement plates supported similar macroalgae and invertebrate community composition, while abundances varied depending on the species group. After seven months, macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrate community composition was similar on sandstone and concrete settlement plates (data reported as statistical model results). Sandstone plates supported higher abundance of red macroalgae (2–33% cover) and green macroalgae (2–13%) than concrete plates (red: 1–15%; green: 1–7%), but fewer Spirorbid tubeworms (0–37 vs 0–48%). Abundances were similar on sandstone and concrete plates for brown macroalgae (1–10 vs 1–17%), mussels (Mytilus edulis: 1–34 vs 3–44%), barnacles (Cirripedia: 1–37 vs 1–41%), sponges (Porifera: both 1–9%), bryozoans (Bryozoa: 0–38 vs 0–49%), ascidians (Ascidiacea: 0–25 vs 0–16%) and Serpulid tubeworms (3–17 vs 3–16%). Settlement plates (150 × 150 mm) were made from sandstone and concrete. Five of each were randomly arranged vertically at 0.3 m depth on each of four concrete pontoons and at 1.5 m depth on each of four adjacent sandstone reefs in June 1998. Macroalgae and non-mobile invertebrates on plates were counted in the laboratory after seven months.

    (Summarised by: Ally Evans)

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