Using biomimicry and bibliometric mapping to guide design and production of artificial coral reefs


  • We created an artificial coral reef based on biomimicry using a bibliometric method.
  • We designed stage-gates to lead the innovation process.
  • Local community and government agencies were included in the conceptualization.
  • We demonstrate the recovery in natural marine ecosystems using 3D printed coral reefs.


Worldwide, artificial reefs are being installed to simultaneously attract recreational divers and protect deteriorating natural reefs. This study uses a bibliometric review of artificial coral reefs to identify five clusters as gate criteria for artificial reef design. These clusters enable the conceptualization and testing of artificial reefs for optimum integration of sociotechnical requirements, biological integrity, and ecological marine health. The five clusters are: (1) applications, solutions, and performance; (2) management, technology, and science; (3) calcification, biomineralization, chemistry, and ocean acidification; (4) coral species survival, mortality, and photosynthesis; and (5) artificial reef development, and coral and fish recruitment. The six biomimicry design stages are: definebiologizediscoverabstractemulate, and evaluate. The 3D printing and hard corals design attracted a large number of planula larvae and different inhabitant corals, and a high species diversity in the surrounding waters. Practical implications include biomimicry-based means for coral reef restoration and recreational ecosystem services.

Srisuwan W., Ketjamrat N., Chansue N. & Haetrakul N., 2022. Using biomimicry and bibliometric mapping to guide design and production of artificial coral reefs. Marine Environmental Research: 105685. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2022.105685. Article.

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