Pamela Hallock Muller, Ph.D. Associate Professor, College of Marine Science
Walter Jaap Courtesy Professor, College of Marine Science
Thomas Smith, Ph.D. Program Director, University Honors Program
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Artificial reefs in the United States, including the West Florida Shelf (WFS) are often composed of waste-materials used to improve ecosystem services of reef habitats. Recent efforts have been made to extend the use of artificial reefs by designing reefs to mimic natural bottom of the WFS to be used as mitigation sites. The objective of this project is to compare designed and waste-material artificial reefs by assessing benthic cover. The study revealed waste-material and designed artificial reefs had similar benthic assemblages and provide similar ecosystem services. The primary difference, more abundance of sponges on the waste-material and more algae on the designed artificial reefs. These trends are more likely a consequence of the location and depth of the reefs than their design or materials.
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Prueitt, Benjamin N., "Ecosystem Services of Waste-Material and Designed Artificial Reefs" (2013). USFSP Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate). 148.