The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Corridors for aliens but not for natives: effects of marine urban sprawl at a regional scale

Record type: Article

Aim: The global sprawl of marine hard infrastructure (e.g. breakwaters, sea walls and jetties) can extensively modify coastal seascapes, but the knowledge of such impacts remains limited to local scales. We examined the regional-scale effects of marine artificial habitats on the distribution and abundance of assemblages of ascidians, a key group of ecosystem engineer species in benthic fouling systems.

Location: Five hundred kilometers of coastline in the North Adriatic Sea.

Methods: We sampled a variety of natural reefs, marine infrastructures and marinas, and tested hypotheses about the role of habitat type and location in influencing the relative distribution and abundance of both native and non-indigenous species.

Results: Assemblages differed significantly between natural and artificial habitats and among different types of artificial habitats. Non-indigenous species were 2–3 times more abundant on infrastructures built along sedimentary coastlines than on natural rocky reefs or infrastructures built close to rocky coastlines. Conversely, native species were twice as abundant on natural reefs than on nearby infrastructures and were scarce to virtually absent on infrastructures built along sedimentary coasts. The species composition of assemblages in artificial habitats was more similar to that of marinas than of natural reefs, independently of their location.

Main conclusions: Our results show that marine infrastructures along sandy shores disproportionally favour non-indigenous over native hard bottom species, affecting their spread at regional scales. This is particularly concerning for coastal areas that have low natural densities of rocky reef habitats. We discuss design and management options to improve the quality as habitat of marine infrastructures and to favour their preferential use by native species over non-indigenous ones.

PDF ddi12301.pdf - Version of Record
Download (385kB)

Citation

Airoldi, Laura, Turon, Xavier, Perkol-Finkel, Shimrit and Rius, Marc (2015) Corridors for aliens but not for natives: effects of marine urban sprawl at a regional scale Diversity and Distributions, 21, (7), pp. 755-768. (doi:10.1111/ddi.12301).

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 2 February 2015
Published date: July 2015
Keywords: artificial marine infrastructure, biological invasions, coastal urbanization, habitat fragmentation, mitigation of anthropogenic impacts, non-indigenous species and regional-scale effects
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374073
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374073
ISSN: 1366-9516
PURE UUID: e57b8faf-34ec-497a-93d9-399336e7f9b1

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Feb 2015 10:24
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:29

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Laura Airoldi
Author: Xavier Turon
Author: Shimrit Perkol-Finkel
Author: Marc Rius

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×