At a glance 1 min

Artificial reefs to protect marine life

Artificial reefs to protect marine life
Artificial reefs to protect marine life

In order to combat the erosion of the seabed due to water acidification, British and Italian scientists have developed and implanted small plastic algae in the Mediterranean Sea.
Climate change, as a result of rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), has two major effects on seas and oceans: global warming and ocean acidification. The combination of these threats affects all marine life, both individual organisms and communities of species.

It was with the aim of protecting these vulnerable ecosystems that researchers, at Portsmouth University and the Italian ENEA agency, undertook to implant a reef comprising small plastic structures that mimic natural coral algae (branched and calcified red algae, resembling coral), whose ecological function is similar to that of coral. "They are particularly important ecologically-speaking in shallow and temperate regions,” explained researcher Frederica Ragazzola. They are the engineers of the ecosystem, providing habitats for innumerable small invertebrates and shelter providing protection from physical stresses such as the action of waves". However, their calcareous skeleton renders them particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification. Their survival, and the survival of the species associated with them, are threatened.

In total, 90 small plastic corals, measuring 10 centimetres in diameter, were installed near the coral reefs at the Gulf of La Spezia, in the north-west of Italy last June. The aim: ascertaining, over a period of 12 months, whether they are as able as their natural brethren to provide shelter and protection for the species that live in the coral and which are threatened by ocean acidification.

The scientists' long-term goal involves ascertaining whether the organisms are able to survive in an artificial reef should the coral reefs some day disappear.

More information
https://medclimalizers.wordpress.com/

If you enjoyed this article, you'll love the next!
  • Recycled plastic tiles
    At a glance 1 min
    Recycled plastic tiles

    Lightweight, easy to assemble, and affordable. All of these are the main advantages of the recycled plastic tiles from Spanish company Roofeco systems. Made from PET bottles recovered from neighbouri...

  • Aquadyne drainage material
    At a glance 1 min
    Aquadyne drainage material

    Aquadyne is a unique drainage system produced exclusively by Econoplas and manufactured solely from waste plastics. It provides unparalleled drainage whilst having lower costs, quicker installation ti...

  • Greenhouse in the desert
    At a glance 2 min
    Greenhouse in the desert

    In some regions of Ethiopia, erratic rainfalls mean that not a drop of rain might fall over a period of six months: growing fruit and vegetables is an everyday struggle. In partnership with the Uni...