Contributing to environmental management
The Ocean Revival project offers a fabulous opportunity to better understand colonisation processes on offshore structures.
Such understanding includes which species settle readily and grow quickly, the time taken for the resulting community to reach a stable equilibrium and the variability (seasonal and year-to-year) after that.
It is also the opportunity to see which species do not colonise the reef and may therefore be restricted to natural substrata or need to be protected because their dispersal potential is poor.
The knowledge gained helps environmental protection and management by informing understanding of recovery potential and aiding the interpretation of monitoring.
We learned a lot from studying colonisation of the Scylla reef in south-west England (see the website: www.marlin.ac.uk/scylla) over the five years after the vessel was sunk and despite a ‘shaky’ start to the monitoring.
This time, the science is being well thought-through and should provide a much better time-line of colonisation. Good luck!
Dr. Keith Hiscock
Marine Biological Association of the UK