Artificial coral reefs as a localised approach to increase fish biodiversity and abundance along the North Bali coastline.
Journal: AIMS Geosciences
Coral reefs face worldwide decline from threats such as climate change, destructive fishing practices, overfishing and pollution. Artificial reefs have shown potential as a method to mitigate localised habitat loss and biodiversity decline on degraded coral reefs. The health of coral reefs in Indonesia and their associated faunal populations have displayed a downward trend in recent decades, and community-managed non-government organisations have started using artificial reefs to restore local degraded reef habitats. In this study, we demonstrate how locally-managed NGOs and communities in north Bali, Indonesia have implemented artificial reef projects, and assess the associated benefits to biodiversity. Using Remote Underwater Video (RUV) over a 3 month period in north Bali, fish assemblages on two artificial reefs of different ages (new and mature) were compared to two nearby natural habitats: degraded sand flats and relatively healthy coral reefs. When compared with a nearby degraded sand habitat, both artificial reefs displayed a significantly higher number of species, which for the mature artificial reef was not statistically different to a nearby coral reef. Community structure was also compared, again showing similarity between artificial reefs and natural coral reefs, but differing in a few species, including specific damselfish and wrasse. This study is one of few which highlight the potential of artificial reef habitat enhancement in Indonesia, and suggests that these structures can provide ecologically equivalent mobile faunal communities to a natural reef on a localised scale. As such, well designed projects may be able to provide some local ecosystem services lost from degraded coral reefs, and become an important focus for coastal communities.
Source: BURO EPrints