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Intensive fishing of marine consumers causes a dramatic shift in the benthic habitat on temperate rocky reefs


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Strain, E M A and Johnson, CR (2012) Intensive fishing of marine consumers causes a dramatic shift in the benthic habitat on temperate rocky reefs. Mar Biol, 159. pp. 533-547.

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Intensive fishing can cause dramatic, longlasting
shifts in benthic habitat. This study used three
approaches to test whether overharvesting of blacklip
abalone (Haliotis rubra) can cause a shift in benthic habitat
to a configuration that is unsuitable for abalone, on the east
coast of Tasmania, Australia. After 18 months of removing
abalone from rocks, encrusting red algae (ERA) became
overgrown by filamentous and foliose algae, sessile
invertebrates and accumulated sediment. The differences in
the community composition between locations, sites nested
within locations and rocks were minor. Throughout the
study, abalone were largely associated with areas of rock
covered in ERA but avoided other habitats. A transplant
experiment demonstrated that abalone preferred areas of
rock covered in ERA but move away from overgrown
rocks. These results suggest overharvesting of abalone
results in a shift to benthic habitat poorly preferred by
abalone. This could form a positive feedback loop that
limits recovery of abalone populations and ERA.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Mar Biol
Page Range: pp. 533-547
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1007/s00227-011-1833-1
Additional Information:

Copyright Springer-Verlag 2011

Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2013 00:57
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:49
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