Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities

Nagelkerken, Ivan, Grol, Monique G. G. and Mumby, Peter J. (2012) Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities. PLoS One, 7 6: e36906.1-e36906.7. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036906


Author Nagelkerken, Ivan
Grol, Monique G. G.
Mumby, Peter J.
Title Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2012-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0036906
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 7
Issue 6
Start page e36906.1
End page e36906.7
Total pages 7
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract No-take marine fishery reserves sustain commercial stocks by acting as buffers against overexploitation and enhancing fishery catches in adjacent areas through spillover. Likewise, nursery habitats such as mangroves enhance populations of some species in adjacent habitats. However, there is lack of understanding of the magnitude of stock enhancement and the effects on community structure when both protection from fishing and access to nurseries concurrently act as drivers of fish population dynamics. In this study we test the separate as well as interactive effects of marine reserves and nursery habitat proximity on structure and abundance of coral reef fish communities. Reserves had no effect on fish community composition, while proximity to nursery habitat only had a significant effect on community structure of species that use mangroves or seagrass beds as nurseries. In terms of reef fish biomass, proximity to nursery habitat by far outweighed (biomass 249% higher than that in areas with no nursery access) the effects of protection from fishing in reserves (biomass 21% lower than non-reserve areas) for small nursery fish (≤25 cm total length). For large-bodied individuals of nursery species (>25 cm total length), an additive effect was present for these two factors, although fish benefited more from fishing protection (203% higher biomass) than from proximity to nurseries (139% higher). The magnitude of elevated biomass for small fish on coral reefs due to proximity to nurseries was such that nursery habitats seem able to overrule the usually positive effects on fish biomass by reef reserves. As a result, conservation of nursery habitats gains importance and more consideration should be given to the ecological processes that occur along nursery-reef boundaries that connect neighboring ecosystems.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article # e36906

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 07 Aug 2012, 11:25:12 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences