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Table 2 Description of six categories used to organise studies in this review

From: Impact of structural habitat modifications in coastal temperate systems on fish recruitment: a systematic review

Study category Description List of included studies
High validity Medium validity Unclear validity
1. Structures: effects of human-made structures on fish recruitment through local modification, degradation or loss of native nursery habitat Includes studies that examine the impact of well-defined human-made structures by comparing fish recruitment before and after the impact or between affected and unaffected control area(s) Clynick [64], Rodrigues and Vieira [60], Toft et al. [85], Scyphers et al. [86], Wehkamp and Fischer [69] Gristina et al. [87], Pondella and Stephens [80], Stoklosar [77]
2. Fish attractors: effects of human-made structures designed to locally enhance fishery resources by providing or creating habitat for fish Includes studies that examine the impact of structures deliberately introduced to enhance fish resources. Fish recruitment is compared before and after the exposure or between affected and unaffected control area(s) Sandström et al. [79], Sargent et al. [88] Jara and Cespedes [68]
3. Urban sprawl: effects of urban sprawl on fish recruitment potentially leading to native habitat deterioration and loss over larger (regional or national) spatial scales Includes studies that examine the impact of broader human developments or structural modifications over large coastal areas by comparing fish recruitment before and after historical coastal development or between urbanised vs. moderately urbanised or undeveloped control regions(s) Brazner [58], Chittaro et al. [66], Hansen and Snickars [78]
4. “Novel” habitats: performance of human-made structures as nursery habitats and recruitment of fish compared to structurally similar natural habitats Includes studies that compare fish recruitment in novel habitats introduced by human-made structures with that in structurally similar natural habitats. There were two categories of artificial structures: (1) breakwaters, groynes, seawalls, jetties, dykes, or other armoured structures for sea defence, maritime, commercial or tourist activities; (2) artificial reefs or other structures primarily designed to enhance habitat complexity and provide habitat for fish species The comparator in these studies is typically the natural habitat with the most similar characteristics to the exposure sites (e.g. breakwaters compared to rocky reefs) Matthews [89], Wang et al. [61], Fowler and Booth [59], Reed et al. [74, 75], Tallman and Forrester [90] Jessee et al. [82], Pastor et al. [91], Koeck et al. [67] Wilson and Krenn [65]
5. Habitat loss: experimentally measured effects on fish recruitment of native (nursery) habitat loss as a consequence of urban sprawl Includes experiments that were specifically designed to simulate the effects of human-made developments and urban sprawl on native habitat structure and cover, such as for example, kelp removal experiments Galst and Anderson [92], Levin [93], O’Connor and Anderson [94], Laurel et al. [73]
6. Habitat restoration: effects on fish recruitment of human-made structural interventions that restore native nursery habitats Includes studies that examine the effects of native nursery habitat restoration on fish recruitment, by comparing fish recruitment: (1) before and after the restoration; or (2) between restored and unrestored degraded habitat(s); or (3) between restored and the reference unaffected native habitats. It also includes (4) experiments that were originally designed to test different hypotheses than our original focus related to e.g. the effects of loss of native habitats by examining structural modifications that artificially recreated or mimicked the native habitat (e.g. using artificial macrophytes) Aburto-Oropeza et al. [62], Cheminee et al. [63], Harwell et al. [95], Jenkins et al. [96], Laurel et al. [73], Reese et al. [81] Able et al. [97], David et al. [98], Levings and Nishimura [76], Nilsson et al. [18]
  1. Studies with unobtainable findings (i.e. missing specific outcome data) are underlined