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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Pip MooreORCiD
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Elsevier Ltd, 2023.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
© 2023. Artificial structures are widespread features of coastal environments, but are poor surrogates of natural rocky shores because they generally support depauperate assemblages with reduced population sizes. This has generated significant interest in eco-engineering solutions, including retrofitting seawalls with artificial rockpools to increase water retention and provide microhabitats. Although these have proven effective at individual sites, widespread uptake is contingent on evidence of consistent benefits across a range of contexts. In this study, Vertipools™ were retrofitted on eight seawalls in different environmental contexts (urban v rural and estuarine v marine) along the Irish Sea coastline and were monitored regularly for two years. Seaweed colonisation proceeded in a manner similar to patterns described for natural and artificial intertidal systems in general, consisting of early dominance by ephemeral species followed by the appearance and eventual establishment of perennial habitat-formers. After 24 months, species richness did not differ between contexts, but differed between sites. The units supported populations of large habitat-forming seaweeds at all sites. Productivity and community respiration of the colonising communities differed between sites by up to 0.5 mg O2 L−1 min−1, but not across environmental contexts. This study demonstrates that bolt-on rockpools attract similar levels of biotic colonisation and functioning in a variety of temperate environmental contexts, and could be considered for widespread implementation as an eco-engineering solution.
Author(s): Farrugia Drakard V, Evans AJ, Crowe TP, Moore PJ, Coughlan J, Brooks PR
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Marine Environmental Research
Print publication date: 01/06/2023
Online publication date: 11/05/2023
Acceptance date: 10/05/2023
Date deposited: 16/06/2023
ISSN (print): 0141-1136
ISSN (electronic): 1879-0291
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
ePrints DOI: 10.57711/7btj-9s13
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