Effects of recreational diving on early colonization stages of an artificial reef in North-East Atlantic

Effects of recreational diving on early colonization stages of an artificial reef in North-East... Increasing interest for recreational SCUBA diving worldwide is raising the concern about its potential effects on marine ecosystems. Available literature is still much focused either on impacts on coral reefs of tropical regions or on diver’s behaviour underwater. In this study we analysed, through photo-quadrats, the benthic community composition in a section of a decommissioned Portuguese navy ship that was sunk for touristic purposes. The ship broke down and became separated in two sections enabling a Control versus Impact sampling design, as one section is less attractive for diving. Gorgonians (mainly belonging to the species Leptogorgia sarmentosa and Eunicella verrucosa) were the taxa more negatively affected in the dived ship section, with smaller coverage and size. More resilient species such as the acorn barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite were positively correlated with the Impact samples. In the case of the study area, according to the available data, 70% or more of the total amount of dives are now on the sunken ships. From these results, lessons can be taken to apply on natural reefs and related management plans. . . . . . Keywords Artificial reefs Decommissioned ships Coastal management Diving effects SCUBA diving Atlantic ocean Introduction More comprehensive studies on http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Coastal Conservation Springer Journals

Effects of recreational diving on early colonization stages of an artificial reef in North-East Atlantic

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Geography; Geography, general; Coastal Sciences; Oceanography; Nature Conservation; Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry
ISSN
1400-0350
eISSN
1874-7841
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11852-018-0630-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Increasing interest for recreational SCUBA diving worldwide is raising the concern about its potential effects on marine ecosystems. Available literature is still much focused either on impacts on coral reefs of tropical regions or on diver’s behaviour underwater. In this study we analysed, through photo-quadrats, the benthic community composition in a section of a decommissioned Portuguese navy ship that was sunk for touristic purposes. The ship broke down and became separated in two sections enabling a Control versus Impact sampling design, as one section is less attractive for diving. Gorgonians (mainly belonging to the species Leptogorgia sarmentosa and Eunicella verrucosa) were the taxa more negatively affected in the dived ship section, with smaller coverage and size. More resilient species such as the acorn barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite were positively correlated with the Impact samples. In the case of the study area, according to the available data, 70% or more of the total amount of dives are now on the sunken ships. From these results, lessons can be taken to apply on natural reefs and related management plans. . . . . . Keywords Artificial reefs Decommissioned ships Coastal management Diving effects SCUBA diving Atlantic ocean Introduction More comprehensive studies on

Journal

Journal of Coastal ConservationSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 3, 2018

References

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