HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology


Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Joshua S. Feingold

Second Advisor

Richard E. Spieler

Third Advisor

Robert Pomeroy


The City of Miami has placed 12 artificial reefs approximately 100m offshore in two parallel transects. The reason for this deployment was to tum a barren seabed into a productive environment for aquatic organisms. The reefs were placed close to the shoreline to allow easy access for snorkellers, divers, and fisherman. Three different types of reef materials were used in constructing the artificial reefs: boulders composed of limestone, concrete shaped as tetrahedrons, and concrete mixed with tire aggregate shaped as tetrahedrons. This study consisted of two separate assessments: I) a survey from two of each of the different reef types that were assessed bimonthly for one year to observe coral recruitment and 2) a survey of all 12 artificial reefs once at the end of the study to observe coral recruitment. In the year-long study, the results indicated that the number of coral recruits were highest on the boulder reefs (0.05>p>0.025, n=2), a significant difference. However, there was no significant difference in the area of corals on each substrata (0.10>p>0.05, n=2). In the final assessment of all 12 artificial reefs the greatest number of corals and area of corals on average were on the boulder reefs. However, there was no significant difference in either the number of coral recruits (0.50>p>0.25, n=4) or coral area (0.25>p>0.10, n=4). An explanation for this non-significance was the low coral recruitment of boulder reef two (B2). When B2 was treated as an outlier there was significance in both the number and the area of corals (0.025>p>0.01, n=3).

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