Surveys of coastal habitats
It has been suggested that the assemblages associated with artificial structures are analogous to those living on adjacent natural rocky shores and that the artificial structures can sometimes function as surrogates for natural habitats. However, there is mounting evidence that suggests epibiota living on and fish assemblages associated with artificial structures differ significantly from those on natural reefs.
It is thought that surface roughness and lack of habitat complexity can account for much of the differences between these habitats. Despite this, little is known about small-scale variability on artificial structures and the role of microhabitats in underpinning biodiversity.