Research Article

Marine Ecosystem Restoring by High-Complexity Artificial Reefs (HCAR)  

Fernando Condal
Institut Angeleta Ferrer i Sensat, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, c/Granollers 43, 08173 Sant Cugat del Vallès, Spain
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2024, Vol. 14, No. 1   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2024.14.0005
Received: 13 Mar., 2024    Accepted: 21 Mar., 2024    Published: 02 Apr., 2024
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Condal F., 2024, Marine ecosystem restoring by high-complexity artificial reefs (HCAR), International Journal of Marine Science, 14(1): 29-39 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2024.14.0005)


The establishment of a High-Complexity Artificial Reef (HCAR) along the Catalan coast in Spain prompted an investigation into the ecological rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems in the Western Mediterranean region. This study monitored marine succession by examining fish assemblage descriptors across seasons. Employing scuba diver video image analysis, we documented the emergence and evolution of HCAR structures from October to July. This analysis facilitated species identification, fish abundance quantification, and the assessment of the Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index at 5-second video intervals. The observed species primarily belonged to characteristic taxa of the western Mediterranean, with Pomadacys incisus (45.7%), Cromis chromis (26.9%), and Diplodus vulgaris (18.8%) among the frequently encountered species. Both fish abundance and the Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index exhibited an increasing trend over time, suggesting progressive ecosystem succession, notably during the spring-summer period. These findings highlight the potential of novel artificial reef designs to foster fish population growth and enhance biodiversity. However, to comprehensively assess the long-term stability and potential of HCAR, extended monitoring periods are imperative. In conclusion, this study underscores the positive influence of high-complexity artificial reefs on marine succession. It emphasizes the necessity for prolonged monitoring to elucidate their sustained impact on coastal ecosystems.

Video-image analysis; Fish community; High-complexity artificial reefs; Pomadasys incisus; Chromis chromis; Diplodus vulgaris
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International Journal of Marine Science
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