How eco-engineering affect species interactions? A Living Seawalls project.

Synopsis

Seawalls provide smaller habitat area for organisms to settle and grow and commonly support lower abundances of organisms than adjacent rocky shores. Changes in species interactions on seawalls can either be contributing to these patterns or be the consequences of differences in habitat availability and fewer diversity of microhabitats between seawalls and rocky shores. The Living Seawalls, in Sydney Harbour, increases the biodiversity of coastal infrastructure by adding habitat panels that increase the habitat area for settlement and growth of seaweeds, shellfish and other marine life and provide shelter from e.g. high temperatures and predators. This project will examine how eco-engineering interventions, such as the Living Seawalls, affect species interactions, such as predation and competition. This study will include field work and manipulative experiments in several sites in Sydney Harbour.

Aim

To investigate how eco-engineering interventions, such as the Living Seawalls, can mitigate the biodiversity impacts of seawalls, through changes in species interactions.

Student Benefits

This project will allow the student to develop applicable skills in critical thinking and scientific writing. The student will learn skills in field sampling and laboratory techniques and statistical analyses. Through this project, students will have the opportunity to collaborate with different stakeholders, including industry and government. Therefore, the student will be able to gain experience that is relevant to careers within and outside academia.

Supervisor(s): Mariana Mayer-Pinto E: m.mayerpinto@unsw.edu.au