eCite Digital Repository

It is in the details: simple structural complexity modification could restore ecological function on seawall


Chai, YJ and Firth, LB and Ban, CC and Strain, E and Hwai, ATS and Yin, CS, It is in the details: simple structural complexity modification could restore ecological function on seawall, Proceedings of the 11th IMT-GT UNINET Conference 2018 - Bioscience for A Sustainable Future, 11-12 December 2018, Penang, Malaysia, pp. 1-6. (2018) [Refereed Conference Paper]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

Official URL:


Increased human use and climate change over the last decades has put huge pressure on coastal area. To shield coastal settlements and facilities from hazardous events, the most common management strategy used is the building of hard structures such as seawalls and breakwaters. However, hard engineered structures often have low ecological values and interrupts dynamic coastal processes. We test the effectiveness of a novel tool in green engineering to modify the structural complexity of ordinary seawalls, to promote the growth of native biodiversity and thus rehabilitate ecological function of hard engineered structures. Seventy eco-concretes with three different degrees of complexity: a flat, 2.5 cm and 5.0 cm complex enhancements were installed at mid-water level on seawall of Penang Port and Straits Quay Marina in Penang, Malaysia. Monitoring was carried out trimonthly for one year. Results suggested relative richness and abundance were highest at 5.0 cm > 2.5 cm > flat and lastly, seawall. Although there was no significant difference in net productivity between 5.0 cm, 2.5 cm, and flat eco-concrete, all of them were relatively higher than that of seawall. The results provide an insight on how addition of complexity on the seawall could bring back a certain degree of biodiversity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:green engineering, structural complexity, coastal biodiversity
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Strain, E (Dr Beth Strain)
ID Code:141439
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2020-10-20
Last Modified:2020-11-11

Repository Staff Only: item control page