Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2014

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Abstract

Biodiversity is generally defined to be the variability of genes, species, and ecosystems in a given area. It is a measurement of the totality of life in a specific area (Newmark 2002). Biodiversity has been shown to be positively correlated with many ecosystem services, and there is a large body of evidence suggesting that biodiversity is related to ecosystem process rates (Balvanera et al. 2006). The specific mechanisms and circumstances through which biodiversity affects ecosystems is not understood well, but due to the apparent relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem processes it is valuable to consider biodiversity in management and policy (Hooper et al. 2005). My research question was what are the practical and efficient uses of artificial reefs as a tool to aid in the promotion of biodiversity among coral reef fish communities? I hypothesized that utilizing artificial reefs which are structurally complex would create biologically diverse fish communities, and that this could be done feasibly without extraneous added costs and work by adding rubble to simple artificial reef structures.

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