Integrated Electrochemical and Biogenic Deposition of Hard Material—A Nature-like Colonization Substrate
Artificial habitats are alien elements on the seabed. As the shape, quality and surface properties of the conventional materials do not correspond with the natural environment, they are only successively colonized by selected species (i.e., fouling species). By way of contrast, integrated electrochemical and biogenic deposition of hard material provides an attractive substrate for many hard bottom settlers. Brucite, aragonite and other minerals completely derived from the ambient seawater are precipitated on a cathode of the shape desired. An iterative pattern of direct-current phases and dead phases permits the calcareous matter to be deposited in an integrated fashion by physical precipitation and by secretion by sessile organisms. During the dead phase the substrate is immediately colonized by a highly diverse community of the type which occurs on natural hard substances. The experiments were carried out in the Mediterranean Sea. The method is highly compatible with the environment and particularly well suited for restoring degraded habitats, e.g., damaged coral reefs.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1994-09-01
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