Low crested coastal defence structures on the Catalan coast of the Mediterranean Sea: how they compare with natural rocky shores
Keywords:Mediterranean, low-crested coastal defence structures, epibiota, community composition
Erosion problems in coastal zones are increasingly threatening Mediterranean shores. In tourist areas such as the Catalan coast, there has been an increasing demand for the construction of low crested structures (LCS) to maintain beaches for recreational purposes. We studied the composition of the biota from three LCS and compared it with that of nearby natural rocky shores. Our purpose was to assess the composition of the communities growing on the LCS at a regional scale and to explore potential patterns of community composition in LCS in relation to the nature of the surrounding coast (i.e. sand or rocky shore), distance from natural hard-bottom communities and orientation of the blocks within the structure. The communities growing on the LCS were similar to those from nearby natural shores but the diversity and the number of taxa was always lower. Sixty to 95% of the species present on natural rocky shores grew on LCS, and differences in the number of taxa between the natural and the artificial substrates increased with increasing distances between them. On the Catalan coast, LCS act as impoverished rocky shores that never become natural ‘climax’ communities.
Airoldi, L., M. Abbiati, M.W. Beck, S.J. Hawkins, P.R. Jonsson, D. Martin, P. Moschella, A. Sundelöf, R.C. Thompson and P. Åberg. – 2005. An ecological perspective on the deployment and design of low-crested and other hard coastal defence structures. Coast. Eng., 52(10-11): 1073-1087. doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2005.09.007
Andrake, W. and H.W. Johansen. – 1980. Alizarin red dye as a marker for measuring growth in Corallina officinalis L. (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). J. Phycol., 16: 620-622. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8817.1980.tb03081.x
Arévalo, R., S. Pinedo and E. Ballesteros. – 2006. Changes in the composition and structure of Mediterranean rocky-shore communities following a gradient of sewage pollution: descriptive study and test of proposed methods to assess water quality regarding macroalgae. Mar. Pollut. Bull. In press
Bacchiocchi, F. and L. Airoldi. – 2003. Distribution and dynamics of epibiota on hard structures for coastal protection. Est. Coast. Shelf Sci., 56: 1157-1166. doi:10.1016/S0272-7714(02)00322-0
Ballesteros, E., M. Pérez and M. Zabala. – 1984. Aproximación al conocimiento de las comunidades algales de la zona infralitoral superior en la costa catalana. Collect. Bot. 15: 69-100.
Ballesteros, E. and S. Pinedo. – 2000. Metodología de las comunidades bentónicas (bentos). Agència Catalana de l’Aigua, Generalitat de Catalunya; Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC). INTERREG II C.
Ballesteros, E., X. Torras, S. Pinedo, M. García, L. Mangialajo and M. de Torres. – 2007. A new methodology based on littoral community cartography for the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 55: 172-180. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2006.08.038 PMid:17045303
Bavestrello, G., C.N. Bianchi, B. Calcinai, R. Cattaneo-Vietti, C. Cerrano, C. Morri, S. Puce and M. Sarà. – 2000. Biomineralogy as a structuring factor for marine benthic communities. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 193: 241-249. doi:10.3354/meps193241
Bulleri, F. – 2005. Role of recruitment in causing differences between intertidal assemblages on seawalls and rocky shores. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 287: 53-65. doi:10.3354/meps287053
Burcharth, H.F. – 1993. The design of breakwaters. In: M.A. Abbott and V.A. Price (eds.), Coastal, estuarial and harbor engineer’s reference book, pp. 381-424. Chapman and Hall, London.
Burcharth, H.F. and A. Lamberti. – 2005. Environmental Design Guideliness of Low Crested Coastal Defence Structures. Pitagora Editrice, Bologna.
Clarke, K.R. – 1993. Non-parametric multivariate analysis of changes in community structure. Aust. J. Ecol., 18: 117-143. doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.1993.tb00438.x
Clarke, K.R. and R.M. Warwick. – 1994. Change in marine communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation. PRIMER-E (2nd edition), Plymouth.
Cebrián, E., E. Ballesteros and M. Canals. – 2000. Shallow rocky bottom benthic assemblages as calcium carbonate producers in the Alboran Sea (Southwestern Mediterranean). Oceanol. Acta, 23: 311-322. doi:10.1016/S0399-1784(00)00131-6
Dare, P.J. – 1976. Settlement, growth and production of the mussel, Mytilus edulis L., in Morecambe Bay, England. Fish. Invest. Minist. Agric. Fish. Food (G.B.) (2 Sea Fish). vol 28(1).
Fletcher, R.L. and M.E. Callow. – 1992. The settlement, attachment and stablishment of marine algal spores. Br. Phycol. J., 27: 303-329. doi:10.1080/00071619200650281
Glasby, T.M. and S.D. Connell. – 2001. Orientation and position of substrata have large effects on epibiotic assemblages. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 214: 127-135. doi:10.3354/meps214127
Gray, J.J. – 1974. Animal-sediment relationships. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev., 12: 223-261.
Guidetti, P., C.N. Bianchi, M. Chiantore, S. Schiaparelli, C. Morri and R. Cattaneo-Vietti. – 2004. Living on the rocks: Substrate mineralogy and the structure of subtidal rocky substrate communities in the Mediterranean Sea. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 274: 57-68. doi:10.3354/meps274057
Hawkins, S.J., A.J. Southward and R.L. Barrett. – 1983. Population structure of Patella vulgata L. during succession on rocky shores in Southwest England. Oceanol. Acta. Proceedings 17th European Marine Biology Symposium: 103-107.
Lamberti, A., R. Archetti, M. Kramer, D. Paphitis, C. Mosso and M. Di Risio. – 2005. European experience of low crested structures for coastal management. Coast. Eng., 52(10-11): 841-866. doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2005.09.010
Martin, D., F. Bertasi, M. Colangelo, M. de Vries, M. Frost, S.J. Hawkins, E. Macpherson, P.S. Moschella, M.P. Satta, R.C. Thompson and V.U. Ceccherelli. – 2005. Ecological impact of coastal defence structures on sediment and mobile fauna: evaluating and forecasting the consequences of an unavoidable modification of the native habitats. Coast. Eng. 52(10-11): 1027-1051. doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2005.09.006
Metaxas, A. and R.E. Scheibling. – 1993. Community structure and organization of tidepools. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 98(1-2): 187-198. doi:10.3354/meps098187
Moschella P.S., M. Abbiati, P. Åberg, L. Airoldi, F. Bacchiocchi, F. Bulleri, G.E. Dinesen, M. Frost, E. Gacia, L. Granhag, P.R. Jonsson, M.P. Satta, A. Sundelöf, R.C. Thompson and S.J. Hawkins. – 2005. Low Crested Coastal Defence Structures as artificial habitats for marine life: what lives where and why? Coast. Eng., 52(10-11): 1053-1071. doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2005.09.014
Pinedo, S., M. García, M., P. Satta, M. de Torres and E. Ballesteros. – 2007. Rocky-shore communities as indicators of water quality: a case study in the Northwestern Mediterranean. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 55: 126-135. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2006.08.044 PMid:17049951
Russell, G. – 1999. The algal vegetation of coastal defences: a case study from NW England. Bot. J. Scot., 52(1): 31-42.
Sala, E. and E. Ballesteros. – 1997. Partitioning of space and food resources by three fish of the genus Diplodus (Sparidae) in a Mediterranean rocky infralittoral ecosystem. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 152: 273-283. doi:10.3354/meps152273
Sokal, R.R. and F.J. Rolf. – 1981. Biometry. Freeman, San Francisco.
Thibaut, T., S. Pinedo, X. Torras and E. Ballesteros. – 2005. Longterm decline of the populations of Fucales (Cystoseira and Sargassum) in the Albères coast (Northwestern Mediterranean). Mar. Pollut. Bull. 50: 1472-1489. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2005.06.014 PMid:16026805
Torras, X., S. Pinedo, M. García, L. Mangialajo and E. Ballesteros. – 2003. Assessment of coastal environmental quality based on littoral community cartography: methodological approach. In: UNEP-MAP-RAC/SPA (edit.), Proceedings of the Second Mediterranean Symposium on marine vegetation, Athens, pp. 145-154. RAC-SPA, Tunis.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2007 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.© CSIC. Manuscripts published in both the printed and online versions of this Journal are the property of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, and quoting this source is a requirement for any partial or full reproduction.
All contents of this electronic edition, except where otherwise noted, are distributed under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International” (CC BY 4.0) License. You may read here the basic information and the legal text of the license. The indication of the CC BY 4.0 License must be expressly stated in this way when necessary.
Self-archiving in repositories, personal webpages or similar, of any version other than the published by the Editor, is not allowed.