Artificial Reefs in Florida 101 – effects on fish: Part 2 of an Artificial Reef series
view on EDIS
PDF 2022


How to Cite

Chong, Lisa, Angela B. Collins, Holly Abeels, Anna Braswell, Ana Zangroniz, Andrew Ropicki, Scott Jackson, and Ed Camp. 2022. “Artificial Reefs in Florida 101 – Effects on Fish: Part 2 of an Artificial Reef Series: FA240, 5/2022”. EDIS 2022 (3).


Increasingly, coastal managers are placing artificial reefs in marine waters. These long-lasting habitat alterations have measurable effects on fish, fishers, divers, fisheries, and marine social ecological systems. Understanding how artificial reefs function is necessary to make good decisions about future artificial reefs. Scientific research on many aspects of artificial reefs is not always summarized and explained. In response to this need, we designed a 4-part series called Artificial Reefs 101. This publication, part 2 of the Artificial Reefs series, explains how artificial reefs affect fish populations. It will help the interested public understand more about the ecological effects of artificial reefs and provide detailed information to stakeholders including management agencies, local governments, artificial reef manufacturers, and Extension agents, to allow for better-informed decisions about building and managing artificial reefs.
view on EDIS
PDF 2022


Ahrens, R. N., C. J. Walters, and V. Christensen. 2012. "Foraging Arena Theory." Fish and fisheries 13 (1): 41-59.

Allman, R. J. 2007. "Small-Scale Spatial Variation in the Population Structure of Vermilion Snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens) from the Northeast Gulf of Mexico." Fisheries Research 88 (1-3): 88-99.

Beets, J. 1989. "Experimental Evaluation of Fish Recruitment to Combinations of Fish Aggregating Devices and Benthic Artificial Reefs." Bulletin of Marine Science 44 (2): 973-983.

Bohnsack, J. A., D. E. Harper, D. B. McClellan, and M. Hulsbeck. 1994. "Effects of Reef Size on Colonization and Assemblage Structure of Fishes at Artificial Reefs off Southeastern Florida, USA." Bulletin of Marine Science 55 (2-3): 796-823.

Bortone, S. A. 2019. "Artificial Reefs in the Future Management of Red Snapper, Lutjanus campechanus." In Red Snapper Biology in a Changing World (pp. 275-283). CRC Press.

Brandt, J. R., and D. C. Jackson. 2013. "Influences of Artificial Reefs on Juvenile Red Snapper along the Mississippi Gulf Coast." Marine and Coastal Fisheries 5 (1): 1-10.

Caddy, J. F. 2011. "How Artificial Reefs Could Reduce the Impacts of Bottlenecks in Reef Fish Productivity within Natural Fractal Habitats." In Artificial Reefs in Fisheries Management, edited by S. A. Bortone, F. P. Brandini, G. Fabi, and S. Otake 45-64. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Camp, E. V., R. N. Ahrens, T. C. MacDonald, K. A. Thompson, and K. Lorenzen. 2019. "Identifying Forage Populations of Concern: A New Perspective Based on Predator Recruitment Considerations." Fisheries Research 219:105319.

Carr, M. H., and M. A. Hixon. 1997. "Artificial Reefs: The Importance of Comparisons with Natural Reefs." Fisheries 22 (4): 28-33.<0028:ARTIOC>2.0.CO;2

Dance, M. A., W. F. Patterson III, and D. T. Addis. 2011. "Fish Community and Trophic Structure at Artificial Reef Sites in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico." Bulletin of Marine Science 87 (3): 301-324.

Dance, M. A., J. R. Rooker, R. J. Kline, A. Quigg, G. R. Stunz, R. D. Wells, K. Lara, J. Lee, and B. Suarez. 2021. "Importance of Low‐Relief Nursery Habitat for Reef Fishes." Ecosphere 12 (6): e03542.

Flaherty-Walia, K. E., T. S. Switzer, B. L. Winner, A. J. Tyler-Jedlund, and S. F. Keenan. 2015. "Improved Ability to Characterize Recruitment of Gray Snapper in Three Florida Estuaries along the Gulf of Mexico through Targeted Sampling of Polyhaline Seagrass Beds." Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 144 (5): 911-926.

Gallaway, B. J., S. T. Szedlmayer, and W. J. Gazey. 2009. "A Life History Review for Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico with an Evaluation of the Importance of Offshore Petroleum Platforms and other Artificial Reefs." Reviews in Fisheries Science 17 (1): 48-67.

Hixon, M. A., and J. P. Beets. 1989. "Shelter Characteristics and Caribbean Fish Assemblages: Experiments with Artificial Reefs." Bulletin of Marine Science. 44 (2): 666-80.

Lindberg, W. J. 1997. "Can science resolve the attraction-production issue?" Fisheries 22: 10-13.

Lindberg, W. J., T. K. Frazer, K. M. Portier, F. Vose, J. Loftin, D. J. Murie, D. M. Mason, B. Nagy, and M. K. Hart. 2006. "Density‐Dependent Habitat Selection and Performance by a Large Mobile Reef Fish." Ecological Applications 16 (2): 731-46.[0731:DHSAPB]2.0.CO;2

Lindberg, W. J. and W. Seaman. (editors). 2011. Guidelines and Management Practices for Artificial Reef Siting, Use, Construction, and Anchoring in Southeast Florida. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Miami, FL. xi and 150 pages.

McGlennon, D. and K. L. Branden. 1994. "Comparison of Catch and Recreational Anglers Fishing on Artificial Reefs and Natural Seabed in Gulf St. Vincent, South Australia." Bulletin of Marine Science 55 (2-3): 510-523.

Patranella, A., K. Kilfoyle, S. Pioch, and R. E. Spieler. 2017. "Artificial Reefs as Juvenile Fish Habitat in a Marina." Journal of Coastal Research 33 (6): 1341-1351.

Paxton, A. B., E. A. Newton, A. M. Adler, R. V. Van Hoeck, E. S. Iversen Jr., J. C. Taylor, C. H. Peterson, and B. R. Silliman. 2020. "Artificial Habitats Host Elevated Densities of Large Reef-Associated Predators." PloS one 15 (9): e0237374.

Pickering, H., and D. Whitmarsh. 1997. "Artificial Reefs and Fisheries Exploitation: A Review of the 'Attraction versus Production' Debate, the Influence of Design and its Significance for Policy." Fisheries Research 31 (1-2): 39-59.

Van Poorten, B., J. Korman, and C. Walters. 2018. "Revisiting Beverton-Holt Recruitment in the Presence of Variation in Food Availability." Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 28 (3): 607-624.

Victor, B. C. 1986. "Larval Settlement and Juvenile Mortality in a Recruitment‐Limited Coral Reef Fish Population." Ecological Monographs 56 (2):145-160.

Wilson, J., C. W. Osenberg, C. M. S. Mary, C. A. Watson, and W. J. Lindberg. 2001. "Artificial Reefs, the Attraction-Production Issue, and Density Dependence in Marine Ornamental Fishes." Aquarium Sciences and Conservation 3 (1): 95-105.

Copyright (c) 2022 UF/IFAS