Artificial reefs geographical location matters more than shape, age and depth for sessile invertebrate colonization in the Gulf of Lion (NorthWestern Mediterranean Sea)

10.24072/pcjournal.107 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 2 (2022), article no. e24.

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Artificial reefs (ARs) have been used to support fishing activities. Sessile invertebrates are essential components of trophic networks within ARs, supporting fish productivity. However, colonization by sessile invertebrates is possible only after effective larval dispersal from source populations, usually in natural habitat. While most studies focused on short-term colonization by pioneer species, we propose to test the relevance of geographic location, shape, age and depth of immersion on the ARs long-term colonization by species found in natural stable communities in the Gulf of Lion. We recorded the presence of five sessile invertebrates species, with contrasting life-history traits and regional distribution in the natural rocky habitat, on ARs with different shapes deployed during two immersion time periods (1985 and the 2000s) and in two depth ranges (<20m and >20m). At the local level (~5kms), neither shape, depth nor immersion duration differentiated ARs assemblages. At the regional scale (>30kms), colonization patterns differed between species, resulting in diverse assemblages. This study highlights the primacy of geographical positioning over shape, immersion duration and depth in ARs colonization, suggesting it should be accounted for in maritime spatial planning

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DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.107
Blouet, Sylvain 1, 2; Bramanti, Lorenzo 1; Guizien, Katell 1

1 CNRS-Sorbonne Université, Laboratoire d’Ecogéochimie des Environnements Benthiques, LECOB, Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls Sur Mer – 66650 Banyuls sur Mer, France
2 Ville d’Agde, Aire marine protégée de la côte agathoise – 34300 Agde, France
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Blouet, Sylvain; Bramanti, Lorenzo; Guizien, Katell. Artificial reefs geographical location matters more than shape, age and depth for sessile invertebrate colonization in the Gulf of Lion (NorthWestern Mediterranean Sea). Peer Community Journal, Volume 2 (2022), article  no. e24. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.107.

Peer reviewed and recommended by PCI : 10.24072/pci.ecology.100093

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