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Enhancing stocks of the exploited limpet Patella candei d’Orbigny via modifications in coastal engineering
Martins, G.M.; Thompson, R.C.; Neto, A.I.; Hawkins, S.J.; Jenkins, S.R. (2010). Enhancing stocks of the exploited limpet Patella candei d’Orbigny via modifications in coastal engineering. Biol. Conserv. 143: 203-211
In: Biological Conservation. Elsevier: Barking. ISSN 0006-3207, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

    Distribution patterns; Microhabitats; ANE, Azores [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Martins, G.M.
  • Thompson, R.C.
  • Neto, A.I., more
  • Hawkins, S.J.
  • Jenkins, S.R., more

    It is widely recognised that microhabitats are important for a variety of marine organisms, yet this knowledgehas rarely been applied in the construction of engineered structures as a means of enhancing biodiversityor populations of species at risk. Here we examined the influence of microhabitats on thedistribution and survival of the exploited limpet Patella candei on natural shores before determiningthe effect of introducing such habitats to an artificial seawall. On natural shores individuals were associatedwith pits (a natural feature of volcanic rocky shores). Animals inhabiting pits showed reduced mortalityand were smaller than those on open rock. Microhabitat utilisation was similar over the verticalrange of distribution of P. candei. Following observation of natural patterns, we applied this knowledgeby experimentally drilling pits at varying densities and sizes in a seawall that had been constructed withsimple topographical complexity. Overall, the number of animals increased in areas with experimentallyincreased microhabitat area. There was evidence that this was the result of immigration (larger animals)but also of increased recruitment. This study demonstrates one cost-effective way of conciliating theneed to protect our coastlines while promoting the conservation and stock enhancement of overexploitedspecies.

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