Revitalisation of marine biodiversity with Life Boosting Units (LBU) structures
Did you know that just four months after its installation, species have been identified in each Life Boosting Unit, thus beginning the process of regeneration of marine biodiversity? For this reason, every three months each structure will be monitored in Cívitas Puerto Banús to find out the results and benefits they are generating.
Last November, Cívitas Puerto Banús installed, in collaboration with Ocean Ecostructures, 10 Life Boosting Units in different areas of the port that allow the regeneration of marine biodiversity, restoring life and allowing the revitalisation and recycling of marine infrastructures and damaged environments.
After only 4 months since installation, monitoring has been carried out on the Life Boosting Units (LBU) that were installed in November 2022 at key points within the marina. During the inspection, the Ocean Ecostructures scientific team has identified the existing species at each location.
It should be noted that there are subtle differences between in each area. These are points that differ in terms of the rate of water exchange (currents) or the availability of light and nutrients. The preliminary assessments of the scientific visit of the LBUs in Cívitas Puerto Banús in March 2023 indicate that, in the most inland area, a high density of juvenile fish has been detected interacting with the structures, using them as a refuge.
In the port mouth area (outer and inner area), the presence of fish in the LBUs is not as notable. However, the biodiversity reflects a surprising state considering the short immersion time, as well as the current seasonal period. At the level of fauna, the presence of gastropods (snails) stands out, as well as the observation of up to 3 species of nudibranchs (image 3).
It is necessary to comment on the persistent presence of the invasive alga Rugolopterix okumurae in the waters of the port. This alga has also colonised some of the structures.
Finally, numerous cuttlefish eggs have also been identified in some structures, since LBUs represent optimal sheltered spaces for the reproduction of multiple species.
Below, we share a collection of outstanding images taken during monitoring, as well as a brief description of each one.
1. Coverage of one of the structures. The sea squirt Clavelina lepadiformis is observed. Sea squirts are organisms with a great filtering capacity.
2. Abundant presence of Clavelina lepadiformis and fast-growing algae communities
3. Specimen of nudibranch Felimare sp.
5. Invasive alga Rugolopterix okamurae
6. Patagonian Oculin encrusting coral on the wall of the port immediately to an LBU structure (inner entrance)
7. Bivalve and sea acorns attached to structures
8. Anemone settled on the wall of the port next to the LBU facilities (outside mouth)
9. Encrusting organisms such as Watersipora sp bryozoans feed on suspended particles in the medium
10. Parablenius sp blenny fish settled in the LBU of the outer mouth
12. Bryozoo Bugula neritina.
13. Two specimens of considerable size gastropods, completely covered by calcareous algae
14. Gastropod probably feeding on cuttlefish eggs (outer mouth)
15. Cuttlefish eggs (inner area)
16. Colony of hydrozoans of the genus Eudendrium (related to jellyfish)
17. Algal coating in the LBU of the inner zone with Oxygen saturation (you can see the bubbles generated by photosynthetic activity)
18. Diplodus sp fish taking refuge in the cavities of the LBU
Do you want to see the full report (Spanish)? Download it here.