Restoration Project

Universidad de Atacama - Bolsico Cove

Restoration Objective:

This study evaluated changes in the community composition in new kelp habitat established on artificial reefs in barren grounds (as restoration) and on contaminated soft-bottom sediment (as remediation).

Site Selection Criteria:

The two sites selected for the establishment of the artificial kelp reefs corresponded to (1) barren-ground habitat (rocky bottom) dominated by Mesophyllum sp.; some invertebrates, such as black sea urchins (Tetrapigus niger), snails (Tegula atra), and fish (Pinguipes chilensis and Cheilodactylus variegatus); and (2) soft-bottom habitat characterized by a sandy substrate, which had a community was composed of macroalgae assemblages of Ulva spp., Gracilaria sp., Sarcodiotheca sp. and invertebrates, such as snails (Xanthochorus cassidiformis) and crabs (Romaleon polyodon).

Key Reasons For Decline:


Scientific Paper

Macrobenthic community establishment on artificial reefs with Macrocystis pyrifera over barren-ground and soft-bottom habitats

L. Campos, M. Ortiz, F.A. Rodríguez-Zaragoza, R. Oses, , Global Ecology and Conservation, Vol. 23, p.1184.


Universidad de Atacama

Site Observations:

Observation Date

1st Dec 2014 – 1st Oct 2015

Action Summary:

Artificial reefs consisting of concrete blocks were installed at two sites, a barren-ground habitat and a soft-bottom habitat. After installation, Macrocystis pyrifera seedlings that had been grown in farms were fixed to ropes with rubber bands in clusters of 5-6 individuals per rope. The clusters were attached to a 120cm jute or hemp rope at intervals of 20cm; each rope had 6 clusters. Two 120cm ropes were tied around each reef.

Lessons Learned:

Restoring kelp on soft-bottom sediment can lead to successful recruitment of kelp while removing/lessening the need for urchin control.

Project Outcomes:

Successional development of reefs communities was similar across the two habitat types. Macroalgae contributed most to the early stage, while invertebrates and fish were the groups that contributed the most during the middle and late successional stages. A positive relationship was found between the presence of artificial reefs with kelp seedlings and the biomass of specific species and functional groups.

Key Reasons For Decline:


Area of Restoration (In Square Metres)


Indicator Data:


Ending Value:

Starting Value:

Wet Weight Kelp

g WW/m2
g WW/m2
Cost Currency:USD