ECF is delighted that students from Flinders University and The University of Adelaide are doing research projects in the inner harbour in late 2020.
Henry Hunt, a Flinders University student, investigated the ecological performance of the Living Seawall Tiles (installed in Feb 2020) in improving ecological performance, as his 3rd year Research Project. Henry and his supervisor were advised by the Sydney institute of Marine Science Living Seawall team.
Henry’s report concluded:
Contrary to existing literature, which reported an increase in biodiversity with the addition of artificial complex sea tile structures; there was no significant evidence of an increase in community structure or abundance on the panels. Instead the units were dominated by the invasive Crassostrea giga, encompassing 89% of total abundance. However, the results are not adverse, further monitoring is needed to include ecological functions, investigate seasonal influences and to incorporate largely successful scraping methodology. These are important considerations when pursuing the possibility of large-scale deployment of eco-engineering features.
It’s hoped that Flinders University students will continue to monitor the Living Seawall Tiles in 2021 and beyond.
While the tiles Henry studied were installed in Feb 2020, another set of tiles (eastern frame) were finally installed in October 2020 and so seasonal differences may apply in what settles on the tiles.