Study

Sessile and mobile components of a benthic ecosystem display mixed trends within a temperate marine reserve

  • Published source details Howarth L.M., Pickup S.E., Evans L.E., Cross T.J., Hawkins J.P., Roberts C.M. & Stewart B.D. (2015) Sessile and mobile components of a benthic ecosystem display mixed trends within a temperate marine reserve. Marine Environmental Research, 107, 8-23.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Designate a Marine Protected Area and prohibit all types of fishing

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Designate a Marine Protected Area and prohibit all types of fishing

    A paired, site comparison study in 2010–2013 in one soft sediment area in the Firth of Clyde, west coast of Scotland, UK (Howarth et al. 2015) found that five years after designation, a marine reserve closed to all fishing had similar species richness, diversity and overall community composition of large invertebrates compared to an adjacent fished area, but higher species richness, similar diversity, and different overall community composition of small sessile invertebrates. Diversity was reported as diversity indices, and community composition as a graphical analysis. After five years, the closed area had similar total abundance of large invertebrates (60/100 m2) compared to the fished area (45/100 m2). However, the closed area had higher abundance of feather stars (closed: 18 vs fished: 11 individuals/100 m2) and eyelash worms Myxicola infundibulum (3 vs 1 individuals/100 m2). Abundances were similar inside and outside the closed area for large crustaceans and starfish combined (32 vs 29 individuals/100 m2), and for the parchment worms Chaetopterus spp. (6 vs 4 individuals/100 m2). After five years, species richness of small sessile invertebrates was higher in the closed area (5 species/m2) than the fished area (4 species/m2). In addition, abundances (as % cover) were higher inside than outside the protected area for hydroids (inside: 4% vs outside: 3%) and sponges (0.3% vs 0.1%), but abundances were similar inside and outside for bryozoans (0.5%) and for worms, anemones, and tunicates (data not provided). Lamlash Bay marine reserve (2.67 km2) was established in September 2008 and closed to all fishing. Annually between 2010 and 2013 at 0–30 m depth, 14–20 sites were samples inside and outside the reserve. Large (size unspecified) invertebrates were counted inside 150 m2 transects. Forty 1 m2 quadrats/transect were photographed and any small sessile organism (invertebrates including corals and algae) present were identified.

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson & Laura Pettit)

  2. Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

    A site comparison study in 2010–2013 of a fished area of seabed in the north Atlantic Ocean off the Isle of Arran, Scotland, UK (Howarth et al. 2015) found that prohibiting all types of fishing in a marine reserve resulted in similar overall fish abundance, similar abundances of seven of seven individual fish groups, and similar sizes of four of four fish groups compared to an adjacent fished area outside the reserve, up to five years after implementation. Across years, overall fish abundance (total number) was not statistically different between non-fished reserve and fished areas (reserve: 803, fished: 644) and the maximum numbers of seven of seven fish groups, dominated by cod Gadus morhua and other ‘cod-like’ fish Gadidae, were similar (reserve: <1–9, fished: <1–9; see paper for individual data by fish group). Fish size was similar between the reserve and fished areas for cod, other cod-like fish, flatfish Pleuronectidae and lesser-spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula (data reported as statistical results; three fish groups were not tested). Lamlash Bay Marine Reserve (2.7 km2) was established in September 2008 and closed to all fishing. Annually between 2010–2013, fourteen to 20 sites inside and outside the reserve were sampled. Fish data were collected by diver visual surveys along 150 m2 transects (total number) and analysis of footage recorded by baited remote underwater video (species, number and fish length).

    (Summarised by: Natasha Taylor)

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