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2011 Envision Mapping Ltd. Biogenic Reefs and the Marine Aggregate Industry

2011 Envision Mapping Ltd. Biogenic Reefs and the Marine Aggregate Industry

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Benthic Ecology

Description

Biogenic reefs are hard, compact structures created by the activity of living organisms.
These structures create habitats and confer important ecological functions in the
areas in which they occur. As a consequence they have been recognised by several
legal frameworks which impart requirements for their management. Of the reefbuilding
species in the UK, only three are likely to be of relevance to the marine
aggregate industry: the ross worm Sabellaria spinulosa, the blue mussel Mytilus edulis
and the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus. This monograph summarises the biology of
these widely distributed species, the characteristics of the much rarer colonies that
they form and the sensitivities of their reef structures to the potential impacts of
aggregate dredging and other disturbances. Some of the management challenges of
these habitats are also discussed, including the difficulties in their detection, sampling
and mapping.

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