Journal Article

Are artificial reefs comparable to neighbouring natural rocky areas? A mollusc case study in the Gulf of Castellammare (NW Sicily)

F. Badalamenti, R. Chemello, G. D'anna, P. Henriquez Ramos and S. Riggio

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 59, issue suppl, pages S127-S131
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jmsc.2002.1265
Are artificial reefs comparable to neighbouring natural rocky areas? A mollusc case study in the Gulf of Castellammare (NW Sicily)

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Mollusc assemblages of three concrete artificial reefs (ARs) in the Gulf of Castellammare were compared with those of two nearby natural reefs (NRs). The reefs were located in areas characterized by different degrees of water transparency, with average annual Secchi disk visibility ranging from clear (>20 m) to turbid waters (<6 m). In spring 1995, 28 samples of 400 cm2 were scraped off the reefs at depths of 16–22 m (20 from ARs; 8 from NRs), which yielded a total of 116 species and 1084 specimens of molluscs. The assemblage derived from a NR in clear water showed the highest diversity, species richness, and evenness, while the highest number of specimens and dominance values were observed at an AR in turbid water. The lowest values of diversity and species richness were found at ARs in turbid water and the lowest number of specimens at a NR in turbid water. Comparison of the five reefs showed significant differences in average number of species and in diversity values, while differences in the number of specimens were not significant. Factorial correspondence analysis showed a pattern that was strongly polarized along the first axis by the NR in clear water and by the AR in turbid water. The most distinctive feature was the dominance of Bittium latreillii at AR sites. Three years after deployment, mollusc assemblages of ARs in the Gulf remain entities that are distinct from those of nearby natural reefs. However, the potential of the assemblages in terms of density of individuals is comparable to that of natural reefs. Copyright 2002 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: artificial reefs; molluscs; natural rocky areas; NW Sicily.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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