Effect of depth and reef structure on early macrobenthic communities of the Algarve artificial reefs (southern Portugal)

A. Moura*, D. Boaventura, J. Cúrdia, S. Carvalho, L. Cancela Da Fonseca, F. M. Leitão, M. N. Santos, C. C. Monteiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This study was carried out on the "Faro/Ancão" artificial reef (AR), located off Faro, deployed in May 2003. We aimed to characterise early macrobenthic community colonisation of two concrete AR groups located at different depths (16 m and 20 m depth) and to test the effect of reef structure on these communities. The non-colonial organisms were counted; barnacles and colonial species were quantified using biomass. Multivariate analyses indicated that early macrobenthic communities (6 months of immersion) were affected by depth, and that barnacles and colonial species were also affected by reef structure. Univariate analyses showed that the biomass of barnacles and colonial species was significantly different among reefs and layers of modules. Both AR groups were characterised by the species Balanus amphitrite, Gregariella subclavata, Musculus cf. subpictus, Paleanotus cf. bellis and Syllidia armata. Jassa marmorata and Bugula neritina were characteristic species at 16 m depth, particularly on the AR Upper layer of modules, whereas Anomia ephippium was particularly common at 20 m, especially on the Lower layer of modules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial reef
  • Benthos
  • Depth
  • Macrobenthic colonisation
  • Portugal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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