Identifying the consequences of ocean sprawl for sedimentary habitats

Eliza C. Heery, Melanie J. Bishop, Lincoln P. Critchley, Ana B. Bugnot, Laura Airoldi, Mariana Mayer-Pinto, Emma V. Sheehan, Ross A. Coleman, Lynette H. L. Loke, Emma L. Johnston, Valeriya Komyakova, Rebecca L. Morris, Elisabeth M. A. Strain, Larissa A. Naylor, Katherine A. Dafforn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Extensive development and construction in marine and coastal systems is driving a phenomenon known as "ocean sprawl". Ocean sprawl removes or transforms marine habitats through the addition of artificial structures and some of the most significant impacts are occurring in sedimentary environments. Marine sediments have substantial social, ecological, and economic value, as they are rich in biodiversity, crucial to fisheries productivity, and major sites of nutrient transformation. Yet the impact of ocean sprawl on sedimentary environments has largely been ignored. Here we review current knowledge of the impacts to sedimentary ecosystems arising from artificial structures.Artificial structures alter the composition and abundance of a wide variety of sediment-dependent taxa, including microbes, invertebrates, and benthic-feeding fishes. The effects vary by structure design and configuration, as well as the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the environment in which structures are placed. The mechanisms driving effects from artificial structures include placement loss, habitat degradation, modification of sound and light conditions, hydrodynamic changes, organic enrichment and material fluxes, contamination, and altered biotic interactions. Most studies have inferred mechanism based on descriptive work, comparing biological and physical processes at various distances from structures. Further experimental studies are needed to identify the relative importance of multiple mechanisms and to demonstrate causal relationships. Additionally, past studies have focused on impacts at a relatively small scale, and independently of other development that is occurring. There is need to quantify large-scale and cumulative effects on sedimentary ecosystems as artificial structures proliferate. We highlight the importance for comprehensive monitoring using robust survey designs and outline research strategies needed to understand, value, and protect marine sedimentary ecosystems in the face of a rapidly changing environment.

LanguageEnglish
Pages31-48
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Volume492
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

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oceans
ocean
habitat
habitats
ecosystems
ecosystem
research planning
survey design
fish feeding
social benefit
ecological value
biological characteristics
marine sediments
habitat loss
habitat destruction
economic valuation
biological processes
hydrodynamics
marine sediment
transform

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • artificial structure
  • coastal defense
  • ecological impact
  • marine sediment
  • offshore wind farm
  • urbanization

Cite this

Heery, Eliza C. ; Bishop, Melanie J. ; Critchley, Lincoln P. ; Bugnot, Ana B. ; Airoldi, Laura ; Mayer-Pinto, Mariana ; Sheehan, Emma V. ; Coleman, Ross A. ; Loke, Lynette H. L. ; Johnston, Emma L. ; Komyakova, Valeriya ; Morris, Rebecca L. ; Strain, Elisabeth M. A. ; Naylor, Larissa A. ; Dafforn, Katherine A. / Identifying the consequences of ocean sprawl for sedimentary habitats. In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 2017 ; Vol. 492. pp. 31-48.
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Heery, EC, Bishop, MJ, Critchley, LP, Bugnot, AB, Airoldi, L, Mayer-Pinto, M, Sheehan, EV, Coleman, RA, Loke, LHL, Johnston, EL, Komyakova, V, Morris, RL, Strain, EMA, Naylor, LA & Dafforn, KA 2017, 'Identifying the consequences of ocean sprawl for sedimentary habitats' Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, vol. 492, pp. 31-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2017.01.020

Identifying the consequences of ocean sprawl for sedimentary habitats. / Heery, Eliza C.; Bishop, Melanie J.; Critchley, Lincoln P.; Bugnot, Ana B.; Airoldi, Laura; Mayer-Pinto, Mariana; Sheehan, Emma V.; Coleman, Ross A.; Loke, Lynette H. L.; Johnston, Emma L.; Komyakova, Valeriya; Morris, Rebecca L.; Strain, Elisabeth M. A.; Naylor, Larissa A.; Dafforn, Katherine A.

In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Vol. 492, 07.2017, p. 31-48.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Heery,Eliza C.

AU - Bishop,Melanie J.

AU - Critchley,Lincoln P.

AU - Bugnot,Ana B.

AU - Airoldi,Laura

AU - Mayer-Pinto,Mariana

AU - Sheehan,Emma V.

AU - Coleman,Ross A.

AU - Loke,Lynette H. L.

AU - Johnston,Emma L.

AU - Komyakova,Valeriya

AU - Morris,Rebecca L.

AU - Strain,Elisabeth M. A.

AU - Naylor,Larissa A.

AU - Dafforn,Katherine A.

N1 - Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

PY - 2017/7

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N2 - Extensive development and construction in marine and coastal systems is driving a phenomenon known as "ocean sprawl". Ocean sprawl removes or transforms marine habitats through the addition of artificial structures and some of the most significant impacts are occurring in sedimentary environments. Marine sediments have substantial social, ecological, and economic value, as they are rich in biodiversity, crucial to fisheries productivity, and major sites of nutrient transformation. Yet the impact of ocean sprawl on sedimentary environments has largely been ignored. Here we review current knowledge of the impacts to sedimentary ecosystems arising from artificial structures.Artificial structures alter the composition and abundance of a wide variety of sediment-dependent taxa, including microbes, invertebrates, and benthic-feeding fishes. The effects vary by structure design and configuration, as well as the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the environment in which structures are placed. The mechanisms driving effects from artificial structures include placement loss, habitat degradation, modification of sound and light conditions, hydrodynamic changes, organic enrichment and material fluxes, contamination, and altered biotic interactions. Most studies have inferred mechanism based on descriptive work, comparing biological and physical processes at various distances from structures. Further experimental studies are needed to identify the relative importance of multiple mechanisms and to demonstrate causal relationships. Additionally, past studies have focused on impacts at a relatively small scale, and independently of other development that is occurring. There is need to quantify large-scale and cumulative effects on sedimentary ecosystems as artificial structures proliferate. We highlight the importance for comprehensive monitoring using robust survey designs and outline research strategies needed to understand, value, and protect marine sedimentary ecosystems in the face of a rapidly changing environment.

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KW - artificial structure

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KW - ecological impact

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