A recent study at the Barcelona Forum artificial beach has unveiled an astonishing level of biodiversity, with hundreds of species being identified.
At the beach, which is located between the mouth of the Besòs River and the harbor, a stunning 514 marine species were identified.
The research was conducted between 2017 and 2019 when experts and citizen scientists conducted over 250 hours of diving in the area. The main species present in the survey are algae, crustaceans, mollusks and fish, and they were identified from the wide range of photos taken by the divers.
According to Manuel Ballesteros from the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Barcelona:
“The high specific diversity found in the bathing area — 514 marine species — is surprising, since it is an area that is quite polluted anthropically, with remains from the construction of the pier itself, effluents from the Fòrum wastewater treatment plant and other waste (towelettes, pieces of metal plate, plastic containers, beverage cans, etc.).”
While Àlex Parera, from the same department, stated:
“The stones that are in the shallows create a good habitat for infralapidicolar invertebrate species, both mobile and sedentary. At the muddy bottom, beyond the central pylons, species capable of burying themselves find their ideal habitat. It is also a good spawning ground for cuttlefish and sea hares, and some fish species find shelter there during their juvenile phase.”
(Featured image credit: Manuel Ballesteros, University of Barcelona)