Did you know that in some parts of the world, we have replaced over half of our natural shorelines with man-made coastal defenses?

This is important because these structures aren’t usually as good at supporting a wide range of different species (we call this biodiversity) as natural rocky shores. The reason for this is that artificial structures lack important habitats like rock pools, pits, and crevices that trap water and provide shelter for marine organisms.

We wanted to find out what effect creating artificial rock pools on these structures would have. Would it help to attract more species? Did the pools need to be a particular size or at a particular shore height to work well? Was exposure to wave action important? We set out to find the answers to these questions to help coastal managers increase biodiversity on their man-made coastlines.

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About this article

Summary of research
Scientists test which types of man-made rock pools built on coastal defences harbor the highest diversity of marine species.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
December 2016

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