Next Article in Journal
Prospects for Improving Gravity-Fed Surface Irrigation Systems in Mediterranean European Contexts
Previous Article in Journal
Influence of Humic Acid on the Transport and Deposition of Colloidal Silica under Different Hydrogeochemical Conditions
Open AccessArticle

Fouling Communities of Two Accidental Artificial Reefs (Modern Shipwrecks) in Cyprus (Levantine Sea)

Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre, Acropoleos 2, 2101 Aglanzia, Nicosia, Cyprus
Energy, Environment and Water Research Center of The Cyprus Institute, Konstantinou Kavafi 20, 2121 Aglanzia, Nicosia, Cyprus
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kevin B. Strychar
Water 2017, 9(1), 11;
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 4 December 2016 / Accepted: 23 December 2016 / Published: 29 December 2016
Artificial reefs are considered one of the alternative methods in fisheries management, used in order to enhance stocks and marine biodiversity in general. A number of biotic and abiotic parameters influence the fouling communities’ formation on artificial reefs through complex interactions. In order to understand how epibiotic or fouling communities progress through time, it is important to study these communities in mature artificial reefs, especially those that have been around for many decades, or in some cases, millennia. This study was conducted on the coral and other fouling organisms of two accidental artificial reefs (40 to 70 year-old shipwrecks) in Cyprus (Levantine Sea). The thermal and nutrient annual regime of the study sites were characterized by processing satellite data. The results indicate that the wrecks are normally under warm and oligotrophic conditions. Percentage coverage of corals and other organisms on the wrecks was calculated (image-analysis software) on photos taken in 2010 (two wrecks) and again in 2016 (one wreck) of the fouling communities. Sponges were the organisms with the highest percent cover (~27%) at the two wrecks. Four scleractinian coral species were found (7%–19% total coral cover). The oldest wreck, which has well-developed coral communities, was revisited during fieldwork in a near-by area in 2016. Only two major benthic categories (dead coral and macro algae) changed significantly between sampling periods. Given the actual policies to sink wrecks to create artificial reefs and the diverse environmental conditions in different areas that will inevitably influence fouling, it is important to carry out studies relating to mature artificial reefs/wrecks in order to be able to assess the ecological effectiveness of longstanding artificial reefs. View Full-Text
Keywords: artificial reefs; shipwrecks; fouling communities; benthic cover; corals; Cyprus artificial reefs; shipwrecks; fouling communities; benthic cover; corals; Cyprus
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Jimenez, C.; Hadjioannou, L.; Petrou, A.; Andreou, V.; Georgiou, A. Fouling Communities of Two Accidental Artificial Reefs (Modern Shipwrecks) in Cyprus (Levantine Sea). Water 2017, 9, 11.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop