Succession in epibenthic communities on artificial reefs associated with marine renewable energy facilities within a tide-swept environment

Type Article
Date 2020-12
Language English
Author(s) Taormina Bastien1, 2, Percheron Arthur2, Marzloff MartinORCID2, Caisey Xavier2, Quillien Nolwenn1, Lejart Morgane1, Desroy NicolasORCID3, Dugornay Olivier4, Tancray Aurelien5, Carlier AntoineORCID2
Affiliation(s) 1 : France Energies Marines, 525 Avenue Alexis de Rochon, Plouzané 29280, France
2 : Ifremer, Centre de Bretagne, DYNECO - Laboratoire d’écologie benthique, ZI de la Pointe du Diable - CS 10070, Plouzané 29280, France
3 : Ifremer, Laboratoire Environnement Ressources Bretagne Nord, 38 rue du Port Blanc, Dinard 35801, France
4 : Ifremer, Centre de Bretagne, Direction de la Communication - Pôle audiovisuel, ZI de la Pointe du Diable - CS 10070, Plouzané 29280, France
5 : Ifremer, Centre de Bretagne, Laboratoire Comportement des Structures en Mer, ZI de la Pointe du Diable - CS 10070, Plouzané 29280, France
Source Ices Journal Of Marine Science (1054-3139) (Oxford University Press (OUP)), 2020-12 , Vol. 77 , N. 7-8 , P. 2656-2668
DOI 10.1093/icesjms/fsaa129
WOS© Times Cited 4
Keyword(s) artificial reef, benthic communities, marine renewable energy, non-indigenous species, succession, underwater imagery
Abstract

Although colonization of artificial structures by epibenthic communities is well-documented overall, our understanding of colonization processes is largely limited to low-energy environments. In this study, we monitored epibenthic colonization of different structures associated with a tidal energy test site located in a high-energy hydrodynamic environment. Using four years of image-based underwater surveys, we characterized changes through space and time in the taxonomic composition of epibenthic assemblages colonizing two kinds of artificial structures, as well as the surrounding natural habitat. Our results highlight that ecological successions followed similar trends across the two artificial habitats, but that different habitat-specific communities emerged at the end of our survey. Deployment of these artificial structures resulted in the addition of elevated and stable substrata in an environment where natural hard substrates are unstable and strongly exposed to sediment abrasion. Although epibenthic communities colonizing artificial habitats are unlikely to have reached a mature stage at the end of our survey, these supported structurally complex taxa facilitating an overall increase in local diversity. We were able to quantify how epibenthic communities can significantly vary over time in high-energy coastal environment, and our final survey suggests that the ecological succession was still in progress five years after the deployment of artificial reefs. Thus, maintaining long-term continuous survey of coastal artificial reef habitats will be key to better discriminate between long-term ecological successions and shorter-term variability.

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Taormina Bastien, Percheron Arthur, Marzloff Martin, Caisey Xavier, Quillien Nolwenn, Lejart Morgane, Desroy Nicolas, Dugornay Olivier, Tancray Aurelien, Carlier Antoine (2020). Succession in epibenthic communities on artificial reefs associated with marine renewable energy facilities within a tide-swept environment. Ices Journal Of Marine Science, 77(7-8), 2656-2668. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsaa129 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00644/75646/