Effects of artificial reefs on fish grazing in their vicinity: evidence from algae presentation experiments.

Abstract:

:Artificial reefs have been suggested as a tool for conservation and restoration of marine habitats. However, the relationships between coral reef habitats and man-made structures are poorly understood. We experimentally tested whether artificial reefs change grazing patterns in their surrounding environment. We exposed heaps of the macroalgae, Ulva lactuca, to natural grazing, at various distances from three artificial reefs. Results suggest that artificial reefs change grazing patterns in the neighboring area. In all the locations examined grazing was 2-3 times higher near the artificial reefs than in control sites (p < 0.05). We suggest that herbivorous fishes are attracted to the artificial reefs, creating a zone of increased grazing. Therefore, while planning deployment of such artificial reefs it is necessary to consider their overall influence on their natural surroundings, in order to maintain the natural community trophic dynamics.

journal_name

Mar Environ Res

authors

Einbinder S,Perelberg A,Ben-Shaprut O,Foucart MH,Shashar N

doi

10.1016/j.marenvres.2005.07.001

keywords:

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2006-02-01 00:00:00

pages

110-9

issue

1

eissn

0141-1136

issn

1879-0291

pii

S0141-1136(05)00058-9

journal_volume

61

pub_type

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