This work-package is leaded by Michèle Leduc (scientific coordinator at Stareso Marine Station)
WP4’s objective is to implement the experimental design underwater. The experimental design is made in a way to compare the established independently but we cannot have in 3-year project old communities on artificial substrates.
In each region, 3 to 4 localities about 10-30 km apart will be equipped with 3 ARMS (artificial reef monitoring systems, which are PVC structures visible of photos of this website) and 3 ASUS each (a few meters away) between 15 and 20 m depth. In France (except Corsica) 3 regions were equipped the first year (Y0) in March 2017 (before SEAMOBB) so one additional year will be available. In Spring 2018 (Y1), communities installed on French coasts were collected, and virgin ARMS and ASUS installed in all SEAMOBB sites. In spring 2019 (Y2), we replaced them by virgin ones, scraped established communities on the natural substrate nearby. In March 2020 (Y3), we will recover the 2nd year of samples at each site for ARMS and ASUS (3rd year for France). We will also collect regrown communities from the small zones from which benthos was scraped a year ago to compare one-year old communities from natural and artificial substrates. Another type of artificial substrate has also been installed in the sea in Marseille in 2019 (to compare with the PVC plates of ARMS).