The use of hard coastal-defence structures, like breakwaters and seawalls, is rapidly increasing to prevent coastal erosion. We compared low-shore assemblages between wave-protected and wave-exposed habitats on breakwaters along a sandy shore of Tuscany (North-Western Mediterranean). Assemblages were generally characterized by a low diversity of taxa, with space monopolized by Mytilus galloprovincialis and Corallina elongata on the seaward side of breakwaters and by filamentous algae on the landward side. Assemblages in wave-protected habitats were characterized by greater temporal stability than those in exposed habitats and supported non-indigenous macroalgae such as Caulerpa racemosa and Codium fragile ssp. tomentosoides. Hence, the introduction of hard coastal-defence structures in otherwise soft-bottom dominated areas, attracting native and exotic rocky-bottom species, should be of great concern for the conservation of marine biodiversity at local and regional scales and for the management of biological invasions.
Hard Coastal-Defence Structures as Habitats for Native and Exotic Rocky-Bottom Species
Vaselli, S.; Bulleri, F.; Benedetti-Cecchi, L. (2008). Hard Coastal-Defence Structures as Habitats for Native and Exotic Rocky-Bottom Species. Marine Environmental Research, 66(4), 395-403.