HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date


Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management


Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Richard E. Spieler

Second Advisor

David S. Gilliam

Third Advisor

Robin L. Sherman


Artificial reefs have been constructed of many different materials including concrete, tires and limestone quarry rock. Few studies have compared the suitability of different construction materials in terms of their efficacy in acquiring diverse faunal assemblages. This study compares the fishes and macroinvertebrates associated with twelve collocated reefs constructed of gravel-concrete aggregate, tire-concrete aggregate, and limestone quarry boulders (four of each treatment) in 7m of water, 200m offshore Miami Beach, FL. All twelve reefs were deployed the same day in two lines of six, 100m apart. The four quarry stone reefs consist of a pile of 50 boulders. Four reefs were constructed of concrete with gravel aggregate and four of concrete with tire aggregate. These eight reefs, produced by CSR Rinker under license agreement with Stability Reefs Inc., contain 25, 1.5 m edge and 25, 1.2 m edge modules. Fish species, abundance, size (TL) and macroinvertebrate presence/absence from all reefs were recorded every two months by SCUBA divers. Data were analyzed with non-parametric two-way analysis of variance using Statistical Analysis Systems (SAS) software. After 18 months, fish abundance and species richness on each treatment exhibited a significant (p0.05). Species richness on the quarry stone reefs was significantly greater than on gravel-concrete aggregate and tire-concrete aggregate tetrahedron reefs (which did not differ). However, further statistical tests on species richness showed no difference between substrate types. Examination of the invertebrate data indicated no obvious differences in invertebrate reef preferences, excepting hard corals, which were more abundant on the quarry stone reefs.


Research funded in part by Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the City of Miami Beach.

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