[Coral-List] New Paper: Blue is the new green - Ecological Enhancement of Coastal and Marine Infrastructure

Shimrit Perkol-Finkel sperkol at gmail.com
Wed Sep 30 08:08:10 EDT 2015

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to draw your attention to a paper just published: "Blue is the new
green – Ecological enhancement of concrete based coastal and marine
infrastructure" by Sella I. and Perkol-Finkel S. (2015) Ecological
Engineering 84: 260–272.

The paper describes a case study of an enhanced breakwater design,
generating habitat, increasing biodiversity and decreasing the dominance of
invasive species (in the heavily invaded waters of the Med Sea).


Abstract :
Concrete based coastal and marine infrastructure (CMI) such as ports,
piers, industrial facilities and coastal defense elements dominate coastal
zones world-wide. Coastal hardening replaces natural habitats with
urban/industrial waterfronts that cannot provide ecosystem services similar
to those offered by undisturbed coastlines. As a result, CMI are often
considered as sacrificed zones with no environmental value.Studies show
that marine flora and fauna on CMI, is typically less diverse than natural
assemblages, and is commonly dominated by nuisance and invasive species.
Here we summarize the results of a 24 month monitoring study of a
breakwater section (Haifa, Israel) composed of armor unites cast from a
proprietary concrete mix with an ecological design (ECOncrete® Antifers –
EA). The study compared benthic community structure (fish, invertebrates
and algae), species richness, live cover, diversity and the ratio of
invasive to local species, on EA to that of an adjacent breakwater section
made of standard Antifers (SA)composed of Portland based concrete. The
abundance, richness and diversity of invertebrates and fish were higher on
and around the EA compared to SA, while the ratio of invasive to local
species was considerably lower. Moreover, engineering species such as
oysters, serpulid worms, bryozoans and coralline algae were more dominant
on the EA than on the SA. These ecosystem engineers increase the complexity
of the structure, by means of biogenic buildup, which increase the
availability of food and shelter in the area, while potentially
contributing to the structures stability and longevity via bioprotection.
The study indicates the ability of design substrate alterations to
facilitate competition for space between local and invasive species on CMI,
and demonstrates the feasibility of applying environmentally sensitive
technologies for enhancing the biological and ecological performance of
structures like breakwaters, piers,and seawalls. Ecological enhancement of
concrete based CMI increases the ecosystem services provided by the
structure, without hampering its structural performance, and thus should be
integrated into future coastal development projects, preferably and most
efficiently from early planning stages.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions,



*Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, Ph.D.*

*CEO, ECOncrete Tech LTD*
US 151 6595 1774
TLV +972 549 840850
Shimrit at econcretetech.com
*www.econcretetech.com <http://www.econcretetech.com/> *

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