Impacts of marine urbanization
Every year we pour in the ocean more and more concrete to build ports, marina, walls and other structures for both recreation and commercial purposes. Today, nearly 40% of the global population lives within 100 km of the coast and around half of coastlines in Europe, the US and Australasia are modified by artificial structures.
Artificial structures increase shaded hard substrata compared to natural habitats, promoting an abnormal increase of energy-consuming invertebrates at the cost of energy-producing photosynthetic organisms.
In my research I ask how much new, heterotrophic biomass has been added to coastal ecosystems via marine urbanization? How much energy do these unnaturally-dense communities consume relative to what is available?