Airoldi, Laura and Bulleri, Fabio (2011) Anthropogenic disturbance can determine the magnitude of opportunistic species responses on marine urban infrastructures. PLoS One, Vol. 6 (8), e22985. ISSN 1932-6203. Article.
Background: Coastal landscapes are being transformed as a consequence of the increasing demand for infrastructures to sustain residential, commercial and tourist activities. Thus, intertidal and shallow marine habitats are largely being replaced by a variety of artificial substrata (e.g. breakwaters, seawalls, jetties). Understanding the ecological functioning of these
artificial habitats is key to planning their design and management, in order to minimise their impacts and to improve their potential to contribute to marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Nonetheless, little effort has been made to assess the role of human disturbances in shaping the structure of assemblages on marine artificial infrastructures. We tested the
hypothesis that some negative impacts associated with the expansion of opportunistic and invasive species on urban
infrastructures can be related to the severe human disturbances that are typical of these environments, such as those from maintenance and renovation works.
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