This study (1975-1977) examines the effect of man-made structures on natural sand bottom communities in shallow water in San Diego County, southern California, USA. While there were shallow scour effects to 15 m around some artificial reefs, the reefs had no measurable effect on sand ripple patterns, grain size, organic carbon or infauna beyond the scoured areas. Foraging by reef-associated fishes produced profound alterations in the epifauna populations of the sea pen Stylatula elongata. The sea pen densities were 4 to 10 m-2 before the reefs were established, but within 5 mo were eliminated from distances greater than 200 m around the reefs. On the other hand, densities of the tube-building polychaetes Diopatra spp. seemed to be enhanced in the immediate vicinity of the artificial reef. Oil platforms and bridge pilings seem to have much more profound effects on the nearby sand communities than do the relatively small artificial reefs. In addition to the elimination of sea pens, Diopatra spp. densities increased from < 1.0 m-2 in control areas to as many as 73 m-2 in the vicinity of oil platforms. Grain size and infauna were strongly affected by the oil platform.
Man-Made Structures on Marine Sediments: Effects on Adjacent Benthic Communities
Title: Man-Made Structures on Marine Sediments: Effects on Adjacent Benthic Communities
January 01, 1982
Journal: Marine Biology
Davis, N.; VanBlaricom, G.; Dayton, P. (1982). Man-Made Structures on Marine Sediments: Effects on Adjacent Benthic Communities. Marine Biology, 70, 295-303.