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Centre for

Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.

The societal benefits of biogenic structures


Biogenic structures are species rich benthic habitats with high levels of structural complexity and associated niches. As such, biogenic structures are valued components of MPAs in the UK and Priority Marine Features for the selection of further Scottish MPAs under the Marine Act Scotland (2010). The high densities of suspension feeding organisms in these habitat types may also represent a disproportionally high level of coupling between the water column and the benthos and therefore a concentration of energy to the benthos.

This project aims to develop a better understanding of the goods and services biogenic habitats provide to society. Such an understanding can make a potentially significant contribution to the selection of MPAs as well as boundary determination, the buy-in of stakeholders, sensitive management and the effectiveness of enforcement. This project is being conducted by PhD student Flora Kent, supervised by Bill Sanderson and Kim Last (SAMS) and funded by the Marine Alliance of Science and Technology, Scotland.