(Coral colonies growing around North Sea oil and gas installations. Credit: Lundin Britain Ltd)
Whether man-made or natural, structure is important to freshwater and marine biomes. A team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh believe that structures, like oil rigs, have the potential to aid conservation efforts and help save at-risk corals. Recent findings suggest that "artificial structures from the oil and gas industry support a network of densely connected coral ecosystems that spans hundreds of miles and crosses international borders."
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, involved researchers from the National Oceanography Centre, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, Heriot-Watt University and BMT Cordah, industry specialists in marine growth surveys.