Landscape effects on demersal fish revealed by field observations and predictive seabed modelling

Elliott, S. A.M., Sabatino, A. D., Heath, M. R., Turrell, W. R. and Bailey, D. M. (2017) Landscape effects on demersal fish revealed by field observations and predictive seabed modelling. PLoS ONE, 12(12), e0189011. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189011) (PMID:29228035) (PMCID:PMC5724865)

[img]
Preview
Text
151990.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

2MB

Abstract

Nature conservation and fisheries management often focus on particular seabed features that are considered vulnerable or important to commercial species. As a result, individual seabed types are protected in isolation, without any understanding of what effect the mixture of seabed types within the landscape has on ecosystem functions. Here we undertook predictive seabed modelling within a coastal marine protected area using observations from underwater stereo-video camera deployments and environmental information (depth, wave fetch, maximum tidal speeds, distance from coast and underlying geology). The effect of the predicted substratum type, extent and heterogeneity or the diversity of substrata, within a radius of 1500 m around each camera deployment of juvenile gadoid relative abundance was analysed. The predicted substratum model performed well with wave fetch and depth being the most influential predictor variables. Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) were associated with relatively more rugose substrata (Algal-gravel-pebble and seagrass) and heterogeneous landscapes, than Melanogrammus aeglefinus (haddock) or Merlangius merlangus (whiting) (sand and mud). An increase in M. merlangus relative abundance was observed with increasing substratum extent. These results reveal that landscape effects should be considered when protecting the seabed for fish and not just individual seabed types. The landscape approach used in this study therefore has important implications for marine protected area, fisheries management and monitoring advice concerning demersal fish populations.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:NERC National facility for Scientific Diving (Grant NFSD/ 13 / 01 )
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bailey, Dr David and Elliott, Dr Sophie
Authors: Elliott, S. A.M., Sabatino, A. D., Heath, M. R., Turrell, W. R., and Bailey, D. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Elliott et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 12(12):e0189011
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record