Insight from complexity: a new approach to designing the deployment of artificial reef communities
We applied perspectives on landscape ecology to propose a spatially explicit model, termed the DARCs (deployment of artificial reef communities) model, to address problems associated with configuring artificial reefs. The deployment of most artificial reefs involves configurations based on engineers' judgments, and the spatial and financial constraints of the system. These designs are often merely plausible and not necessarily optimal. The DARCs model tries to integrate ecological and engineering aspects to replace subjective deployment. The core of this model is based on the ecological concept that species diversity and biomass will increase where habitat system complexity is higher. Here, we apply the fractal dimension to assess the habitat system complexity. We present a solving algorithm for achieving the maximal fractal dimension under a fixed budget. Moreover, we apply the proposed model to a case study by considering the dispersal dynamics for a specific conservation policy. The results not only provide referenced guidelines for ecological engineers in deploying artificial reef programs, but also allow ecologists to explore some of the consequences of the geometrical configuration of environmental variability for species richness in future studies.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2006-01-01
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