Understanding the ecological role of artificial structures, such as seawalls, in shallow coastal waters is necessary in order to plan sound strategies of conservation and management of natural habitats. In Sydney Harbour (NSW, Australia), about 50% of the foreshore is made of retaining seawalls This study evaluates the changes caused to natural assemblages of organisms by these structures, by comparing intertidal assemblages between seawalls and vertical rocky shores. The following hypotheses were tested: that assemblages on seawalls would differ from those on rocky shores at mid-, but not at low-shore levels; where assemblages differ between habitats, there would be differences in cover/abundances of widespread species; patterns would be consistent among locations and through time; the variability of assemblages at the scales of 10s of cm and metres would differ between seawalls and rocky shores at mid- and low-shore levels. To test these hypotheses, assemblages on seawalls and rocky shores were sampled at three locations, at roughly 4-monthly intervals, over a period of about 18 months. Results indicated that mid-shore assemblages on seawalls were different from those on rocky shores, but this was not the case at low-shore levels. Few taxa were unique to either habitat. Cover of common species of algae and sessile animals and abundances of mobile grazers were variable with few consistent patterns. Variability at the scales sampled differed between habitats and heights on the shore. Seawalls and rocky shores, in general, supported a similar suite of species, but patterns of abundance and variation differed among locations and from height to height in each habitat. The implications of these findings for the future management of seawalls are briefly considered.

Intertidal assemblages on seawalls and vertical rocky shores in Sydney Harbour, Australia

BULLERI, FABIO;
2005-01-01

Abstract

Understanding the ecological role of artificial structures, such as seawalls, in shallow coastal waters is necessary in order to plan sound strategies of conservation and management of natural habitats. In Sydney Harbour (NSW, Australia), about 50% of the foreshore is made of retaining seawalls This study evaluates the changes caused to natural assemblages of organisms by these structures, by comparing intertidal assemblages between seawalls and vertical rocky shores. The following hypotheses were tested: that assemblages on seawalls would differ from those on rocky shores at mid-, but not at low-shore levels; where assemblages differ between habitats, there would be differences in cover/abundances of widespread species; patterns would be consistent among locations and through time; the variability of assemblages at the scales of 10s of cm and metres would differ between seawalls and rocky shores at mid- and low-shore levels. To test these hypotheses, assemblages on seawalls and rocky shores were sampled at three locations, at roughly 4-monthly intervals, over a period of about 18 months. Results indicated that mid-shore assemblages on seawalls were different from those on rocky shores, but this was not the case at low-shore levels. Few taxa were unique to either habitat. Cover of common species of algae and sessile animals and abundances of mobile grazers were variable with few consistent patterns. Variability at the scales sampled differed between habitats and heights on the shore. Seawalls and rocky shores, in general, supported a similar suite of species, but patterns of abundance and variation differed among locations and from height to height in each habitat. The implications of these findings for the future management of seawalls are briefly considered.
2005
Bulleri, Fabio; Chapman, Mg; Underwood, Aj
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/97689
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