Marine Urbanization

MarineGEO takes a closer look at how human-built marine structures, such as docks and pilings, are affecting ecosystem heath. This phenomenon, called marine urbanization, is poorly understood and becoming increasingly common along the world’s coastlines, potentially disrupting food web dynamics and even changing the species that typically inhabit coasts. Researchers have developed a standardized method of monitoring artificial structures to observe the change in species diversity and abundance over time. Although more data is needed, scientists have noticed a concerning trend: artificial structures contain more non-native species than native species, a biological flip that could threaten the overall health of the ecosystem.