Artificial Hard Substrate Garden
The Artificial Hard Substrate Garden (AHSG) is a collection of devices facilitating in situ experimental research of artificial hard substrate ecology. The small, mobile Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (https://naturalhistory.si.edu/research/global-arms-program) can be deployed at nearly any location to investigate colonization processes or collect organisms for lab-based experimental research. The larger ‘colonization tables’ are used for experimental research on settlement cues/preferences and complexity-diversity relationships but can serve a wide variety of research questions. Finally, the AHSG comprises three semipermanent moorings, located near the C-Power wind farm at the Thornton Bank, where various colonization plates are attached to a central structure located near the sea surface, at mid-water depth and close to the sea floor. This unique facility allows either the collection of undisturbed fouling communities from various depth, or in situ experiments.