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kontaxi&Memos, 2005

kontaxi&Memos, 2005

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Published by Christina Kontaxi
Kontaxi Ch. & C. Memos, 2005. Submerged breakwaters as artificial habitats. XXXI International Association of Hydraulic Engineering & Research Congress, 11-16 September 2005, COEX, Seoul, Korea, pp. 3967-3975.
Kontaxi Ch. & C. Memos, 2005. Submerged breakwaters as artificial habitats. XXXI International Association of Hydraulic Engineering & Research Congress, 11-16 September 2005, COEX, Seoul, Korea, pp. 3967-3975.

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Published by: Christina Kontaxi on Jan 01, 2011
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Laboratory of Harbour Works, School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece, 5 Heroon Polytechneiou, 15780 Zografou
MSc (Tel: +3-210-7722851, Fax: +3-210-7722853, e-mail: xkontaxi@itia.ntua.gr)
Professor, (Tel: +3-210-7722851, Fax; +3-210-7722853, e-mail: memos@hydro.ntua.gr)
Artificial structures, such as pier pilings, breakwaters and seawalls are becoming commonfeatures of landscape in coastal waters of urbanised areas, replacing often considerable portions of natural habitats. Nowadays, the need to rehabilitate coastal ecosystems is beingincreasingly realized. This study examines the potential that coastal structures, such assubmerged breakwaters, have to support the habitation of some marine organisms.Preliminary results are very encouraging showing that it is possible, in many cases, tocombine the engineering with an ecological function of coastal structures.
Ecological engineering; Submerged breakwater; Artificial habitat; Hydrodynamicresponse
During the last decades, the urbanization of the coastal zone resulted to a massiveconstruction of coastal works, the pollution of the sea and the destruction of coastal habitatsand fishing grounds. To counterbalance this adverse situation, marine scientists areconstructing elements that are deployed in the sea in order to attract organisms, increase biodiversity, and restore habitats. These structures are called artificial reefs; they are placedon the seabed, deliberately to mimic some characteristics of a natural reef (Jensen, 1997).Structures that mimic characteristics of natural reefs in some fashion but have another  primary purpose, such as coastal works, may be described as artificial habitats (Jensen, 2002).Marine scientists have identified the need to improve communication and developcollaboration between themselves and coastal engineers, to facilitate inclusion of worthwhileecological features in coastal marine structures (Jensen et al., 1998).Artificial reefs have been used in a variety of types throughout the world. Japan is theworld leader in coastal management schemes which focus on increasing the yield of seafood.In the USA emphasis is given on using ‘materials of opportunity’ and dominant aim is toimprove recreational angling catches. Artificial reefs have been developed in some Europeancountries, but there has been little communication between scientists so far. In addition,nowadays marine scientists investigate assemblages in artificial habitats and makecomparisons with natural habitats all over the world; Sydney Harbour, Australia (Connell &Glasby, 1999; Glasby, 1999; Chapman & Bulleri, 2003), San Diego, California USA (Davis
September 11~16, 2005, Seoul, Korea
 et al., 2002), marinas on the NW coast of Italy (Bulleri & Chapman, 2004) and groynes and breakwaters along the Emilia Romagna coast, Italy (Bacchiocchi & Airoldi, 2003) are someexamples.
Orbital velocities and forcing due to waves are regarded as the most important mechanismsof disturbance in coastal systems determining distribution and abundance of shallow-water and intertidal marine organisms (Siddon & Witman, 2003; Hammond & Griffiths, 2004).Physical forces are widely recognized as influencing the size, shape and distribution of manyspecies in marine ecosystems (Denny, 1994). Generally, as wave-generated forces increase, body sizes decrease and relative attachment strengths increase (Gaylord, 1999; Denny, 1999).Waves can also restrict distributions of attached organisms by dislodgement (Kawamata,1998). For motile, non-swimming, benthic organisms, dislodgement from the substratum candecrease survival and the cost of resisting dislodgement is reduced locomotion (Martinez,2001). Furthermore, fluid motion provides important services to benthic organisms, such asmass transport of nutrients and waste and distribution of gametes and larvae (Eckman, 1996;Lau & Martinez, 2003). Mobile activities such as foraging, seeking a mate and defending aterritory can be hindered if water motion reduces to spatial and temporal range of an animalmotility.A clear trend that has emerged from many studies of flow field effects on marine organismsis that rates of particle capture or growth are lower on both sides of a band of intermediatevelocities that appear to be most beneficial (Eckman & Duggins, 1993). Ackerman (1999) pointed out the confusion that exists as to the effects of velocity on marine bivalve feedingthat includes both positive and negative effects. Today, a dome-shaped or continuousunimodal functional response of both pelagic and benthic organisms to fluid dynamics hasemerged (Eckman & Duggins, 1993; Ackerman, 1999; Steffani & Branch, 2003; Ackerman & Nishizaki, 2004; Hammond & Griffiths, 2004).The role of hydrodynamic factors on the feeding and growth of two blue mussels (Mytilustrossulus and Mytilus californianus) was examined by Ackerman and Nishizaki (2004) in alaboratory flow chamber and in a dockside flow-through chamber. Growth rates of the twomussels decreased with velocity in all experiments over the range of 0.01-0.4m/s.Furthermore, Hunt and Scheibling (2001) tested wave dislodgement of mussels Mytilustrossulus and Mytilus edulis in an exposed shore on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.Mussels on this shore are exposed to maximum significant wave height of at least 7 to 9meach winter and to maximal water velocities of at least 12m/s. The results indicated thatmussels up to 10 to 25mm shell length are vulnerable to dislodgement for water velocities >7m/s. The growth of the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis in South Africa wasfound to increase with rising wave force (>7
103 Nt/m2), but declined at wave forces over 13
103Nt/m2 (Steffani & Branch, 2003; Hammond & Griffiths, 2004).Experiments about the sensitivity of growth rates of 3 species of benthic suspension feeders,living in comparatively high-energy-environments, Balanus glandula, Semibalanus cariosus
 and Pollicipes polymerus to turbulent flow (with velocities about 2-15cm/s) indicated thatgrowth rates where relative insensitive to flow field (Eckman & Duggins, 1993). Growth ratesof 3 species of benthic suspension feeders –that typically experience relatively weak flows– Pseudochitinopoma occidentalis, Membranipora membranacea and Balanus crenatus, showedsignificant dependence on flow field.Siddon and Witman (2003) quantified the maximum forces necessary to dislodge both seaurchins and seastars. Comparisons of theoretical and empirical dislodgement forces for bothurchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis and seastar Asterias forbesi suggest that only storm-generated waves would have sufficient force to dislodge these species at 1m to 4m depth.Water velocities of 7.5-9.9m/s are needed to dislodge 95% of sea urchins and seastars.Kawamata (1998) studied in laboratory sea urchin Strongylocentrotus nudus and found that;a)feeding rate of the larger sea urchins was markedly reduced at the peak velocity of 0.3m/sand virtually ceased beyond
0.40m/s and b)movement of sea urchins was reduced to half therate in still water at the peak velocity of 0.30-0.40m/s, and they could hardly move beyond0.70m/s. The effect of hydrodynamic forces on the zonation patterns of Astraea undosa testedin laboratory and field experiments (Alfaro & Carpenter, 1999) revealed that 50% of speciesdislodge at about 4m/s and 100% of them at about 8m/s velocity.Mobile species face many of the same hydrodynamic challenges (Siddon & Witman, 2003).Large, mobile predators (spiny lobsters & fishes) seem very susceptible to wave stresses because they have little or no attachment and their large frontal areas project further above therock surface, exposing them to higher, ‘free-stream’ flow vectors (Robles et al., 2001). Clark (1997) suggests that increase in wave exposure is generally accompanied by decrease in fishabundance and diversity, and increase in dominance, but this cannot be held as a general rule.Studies referring to the period between settlement and recruitment to the adult populationof the juvenile littoral fishes of the genus Diplodus indicated that under conditions of heavywaves (wave height>2m) juveniles of Diplodus puntazzo and Diplodus sargus (size<2cm)abandon their crannies to avoid waves (Macpherson, 1998). The specimens moved back later to the original or adjacent quadrates after the heavy waves had subsided. Clark (1997) studiedthe surf-zone fish community at a series of sites in South Africa. Fishes Liza richardsonii andHeteromycteris capensis dominated for wave heights
m H m
and Atherina breviceps, Lichia amia, Trachurus trachurus, Mustelus mustelus and Pomatomus saltatrix for 
m H 
A submerged rubble-mound structure transmits some wave energy over its crest andthrough its body, and reflects a part of the total incoming energy. These two phenomena,wave transmission and reflection, can mainly describe the hydrodynamic conditionsmaintained at the lee and sea side of a submerged breakwater. Wave transmission can becharacterized by a coefficient defined as the ratio of transmitted to incident significant waveheight

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