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Marine & Freshwater Research

Marine & Freshwater Research

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The effects of ash from controlled fires on macroinvertebrate communities in UK headwater streams were investigated experimentally by depositing ash onto natural stream substrata in trays placed on streambeds. Ash deposition together with stream depth altered macroinvertebrate community composition. However, changes in species composition caused by ash deposition were smaller than differences among streams, suggesting that effects of ash may be small in these streams.

MF16049Assessing sea level-rise risks to coastal floodplains in the Kakadu Region, northern Australia, using a tidally driven hydrodynamic model

Peter Bayliss, Kate Saunders, Leo X. C. Dutra, Lizandra F. C. Melo, James Hilton, Mahesh Prakash and Fletcher Woolard

The coastal floodplains of the Kakadu Region of northern Australia are highly vulnerable to future sea level rise (SLR) and extreme weather events. A hydrodynamic model was developed to simulate the frequency and extent of saltwater inundation of future SLR scenarios from 2013 to 2100 (1.1 m above mean sea level), and was used to assess potential risk to freshwater floodplains.

MF16107Sediment fluxes and sinks for Magela Creek, Northern Territory, Australia

Wayne D. Erskine, M. J. Saynor, J. M. Boyden and K. G. Evans

Sediment fluxes and sinks based on total sediment load for Magela Creek in the Australian wet–dry tropics have been constructed from detailed measurements of turbidity, suspended sand and bedload for the 10-year period from 2001–2002 to 2010–2011. The present work showed that the sediment-trap efficiency of the vegetated wetlands on lower Magela is high at ~89.5%.

MF16033Bacteria in tropical floodplain soils are sensitive to changes in saltwater

Tiffanie M. Nelson, Claire Streten, Karen S. Gibb and Anthony A. Chariton

Sea-level rise associated with global warming will increase across Kakadu causing widespread saltwater intrusion. We aimed to understand how soil bacteria might respond to these impacts, by sampling transects in different river zones. We found diverse bacterial communities that were sensitive to soil variables, suggesting that saltwater intrusion may affect bacterial contributions to the dynamic floodplain ecosystems of Kakadu.

The magpie goose is an iconic tropical species highly valued as a conservation asset and by Aboriginal people as a cultural resource. Their spatial and temporal dynamics in the Kakadu Region of Northern Australia are characterised at seasonal and decadal time scales using long-term aerial survey data. The customary harvesting practices of geese and their eggs in the region show that their cultural value extends beyond consumption of bush-food.

Key stream fauna in Kakadu National Park face severe threats in 100+ years associated with climate change, invasive species, and mine-site rehabilitation. Sea level rise will salt the coastal floodplains and the fauna must then rely on reduced upstream refuges vulnerable to strong swings between more intense El Niños and La Niñas. Rates and extremes of future climate change appear unprecedented, making predictions associated with past climate change unreliable.

On the Kakadu floodplains, the distribution of different plant communities varies yearly, related to flooding duration and water depth. Because these floodplains are close to the coast, they are vulnerable to saltwater intrusion as the sea levels rise. The most obvious effect of this will be the transformation from freshwater vegetation to salt-tolerant plants in susceptible areas.

This study assesses the effect of reintroducing large wood on fish assemblages along the Barwon-Darling River, Australia. Results demonstrate that reintroducing large wood had limited influence on fish. It is hypothesised the lack of a detectable response by fish was because the physical character and position of the reintroduced wood pieces didn’t replicate ‘natural’ reference conditions.

In the present study, we investigated how fish functional traits respond to the headwater–river gradient. Our findings showed that not only do the physical variables proposed in classical theory follow the headwater–river gradient in structuring fish assemblages, but s do also physicochemical variables. The present study also provided a perspective on what kind of fish species and functional traits to expect in each habitat type.

In this study, we evaluated the effects of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations on phylogeographic and demographic histories of chub mackerel in the north-western Pacific. Sequence analysis of the mitochondrial control region revealed two distinct lineages that originated in vicariance during the Middle Pleistocene. Both lineages experienced Late Pleistocene population expansion. However, a high degree of genetic homogeneity was detected among populations. These results indicate that the interplay between historical and contemporary processes shaped present-day patterns of genetic differentiation in chub mackerel.

A field-based study was used to assess the post-trawl survival of two elasmobranchs, namely the eastern shovelnose ray (Aptychotrema rostrate) and the common stingaree (Trygonoptera testacea). The results indicate that the size of an individual and time on deck are important predictors of survival. Increasing trawl duration reduced the survival of A. rostrata, whereas female T. testacea were more resilient to capture and release than male T. testacea.

MF17163Life history characteristics of the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis from the central west Pacific

Michael I. Grant, Jonathan J. Smart, William T. White, Andrew Chin, Leontine Baje and Colin A. Simpfendorfer

There is growing conservation concern for silky sharks because of their high levels of incidental capture in tropical tuna fisheries. In the our study, we aged individuals by vertebral analysis and used a multimodel approach to estimate growth parameters. We found that silky sharks in the central west Pacific have slow growth and a late age of sexual maturity compared with other regions.

MF17133Water quality affects the structure of copepod assemblages along the Sfax southern coast (Tunisia, southern Mediterranean Sea)

Zaher Drira, Salma Kmiha-Megdiche, Houda Sahnoun, Marc Pagano, Marc Tedetti and Habib Ayadi

Copepod species diversity along the southern coastline of Sfax, Tunisia, depends on anthropogenic inputs. Oithona nana, Paracalanus parvus, Harpacticus littoralis and Tisbe battagliai were spread along the coast and were more adapted to coastal anthropogenic inputs. The Shannon–Wiener index, H′, was higher in the southern, less affected, stations than in the northern stations, which were affected by sewage to a greater extent.

MF17156Nitrogen removal during the cold season by constructed floating wetlands planted with Oenanthe javanica

Penghe Wang, Nasreen Jeelani, Jie Zuo, Hui Zhang, Dehua Zhao, Zhengjie Zhu, Xin Leng and Shuqing An

The present study shows that a constructed floating wetlands (CFWs) system planted with Chinese celery (Oenanthe javanica) is a viable option for nitrogen removal from waste water during the low-temperature season (mean water temperature <10°C) and that nitrogen removal is better from CFW systems with vesuvianite as a substrate than from those without a substrate.

This study analysed ecological interactions between algae and rocky reef fish, largely unknown in the north-east Atlantic, in Spain. The seascape is dominated by kelp forests and fish assemblages are dominated by gadids, labrids and sparids. Fish and algae show different spatial preferences and respond primarily to seasonality, wave exposure and depth. Labrus bergylta, a very abundant fish, could be a good indicator species of ecosystem health.

We studied the hydrolithological characteristics that enable the development of freshwater lenses in littoral ridges underneath clayey sediments of the coastal plain. Herein, we discuss the importance of the crustacean burrows that create an interconnected system of galleries and tunnels filled with sandy-silt material that favours seepage, promoting bigger freshwater lenses in coastal environments, thus increasing water reserves.

Pristipomoides filamentosus, a long-lived deep-water eteline snapper, is an economically important component of commercial and recreational fisheries throughout much of the Indo-Pacific region. This study provides the first sex-specific, histologically validated estimates of size at maturity for P. filamentosus in the Main Hawaiian Islands or elsewhere. Estimates are compared with those previously derived for the species using non-histological methods, and suggestions for re-evaluating minimum legal size regulations for fisheries of the species in Hawaii are included.

How many hatchery fish survive after release? In outdoor predation experiments using camera trapping, we found that the size of fish at release and the predators’ feeding style and behaviour had significant effects on the survival of fish. The results indicate the importance of not only optimising the size of released fish, but also understanding the local predators for successful fish stocking.

MF17043An integrated risk-assessment framework for multiple threats to floodplain values in the Kakadu Region, Australia, under a changing climate

P. Bayliss, C. M. Finlayson, J. Innes, A. Norman-López, R. Bartolo, A. Harford, N. E. Pettit, C. L. Humphrey, R. van Dam, L. X. C. Dutra, E. Woodward, E. Ligtermoet, A. Steven, A. Chariton and D. K. Williams

The floodplains of the Kakadu Region, world-renowned for their natural and cultural values, are threatened by invasive species and future sea-level rise. A risk assessment that integrates both threats to multiple values out to 2100 was undertaken, and suggested that floodplains will likely transform to marine-dominated ecosystems that cannot be managed back to previous conditions. The study highlighted the importance of freshwater refugia because both their value and vulnerability will increase over time.

Satellite image time series (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, MODIS) data collected in 2001 and 2013 were used to monitor the long-term environmental changes in 20 Ramsar sites in China. The tremendous efforts of the Chinese government contributed to effective protection for most reserves. However, unfavourable environmental conditions for some reserves still existed, primarily due to increasing water requirements outside the reserves. Therefore, a balance between economic development and ecological protection will be important in the future.

MF17087Stock structure of Lethrinus laticaudis (Lethrinidae) across northern Australia determined using genetics, otolith microchemistry and parasite assemblage composition

Diane P. Barton, Laura Taillebois, Jonathan Taylor, David A. Crook, Thor Saunders, Mark Hearnden, Alan Greig, David J. Welch, Stephen J. Newman, Michael J. Travers, Richard J. Saunders, Chris Errity, Safia Maher, Christine Dudgeon and Jennifer Ovenden

The present study evaluated the stock structure of the grass emperor (Lethrinus laticaudis) across northern Australia using a combination of microsatellite markers, otolith microchemistry and parasite assemblages. Genetic analyses indicated at least four distinct populations. Otolith and parasite analyses, however, indicated restricted connection between populations at small spatial scales. These results show that grass emperors are vulnerable to localised depletion in areas where fishing effort is concentrated and that location-specific management arrangements may need to be considered by fisheries managers.

MF17058Feeding habits of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) in the North Pacific from 2011 to 2013

Seiji Ohshimo, Yuko Hiraoka, Takuya Sato and Sayaka Nakatsuka

The stomach contents of bigeye tuna in the western North Pacific were observed to infer feeding habits. The highest %IRI (percentage index of relative importance) prey species was Eucleoteuthis luminosa, followed by Gonatopsis makko and Magnisudis atlantica. The %IRI of E. luminosa decreased and that of M. atlantica increased with increasing bigeye tuna body length, and the results indicate ontogenetic shifts in the feeding habits.

Hypoxia can profoundly affect fish reproduction and larval development, but its effects on fish from tropical Australia are not well understood. In the study, the effects of diel fluctuating hypoxia on reproduction were identified for a range-limited tropical freshwater fish. Utchee Creek rainbowfish appear to be more hypoxia tolerant than many temperate species, but are still susceptible to the increasing frequency and intensity of hypoxia that may occur as a result of climate change.

This study provides insights into nekton communities as possible indicators of habitat functionality in planted mangroves. The community structure of nekton was compared between planted and natural mangrove stands (as a reference trajectory). Nekton assemblage in general (especially fish species) is not a reliable restoration indicator because it is not entirely dependent on mangroves. Crustaceans demonstrated more dependency on habitat structural complexity and food offered by mangroves.

The roles of environment and space in stream fish assemblages were evaluated in distinct hydrological periods in the eastern Amazon. The results indicate that spatial and environmental factors play complementary roles, and that diversity was affected by changes in the habitat connectivity experienced in different hydrological periods.

MF17137Tracking anguillid eels: five decades of telemetry-based research

Mélanie Béguer-Pon, Julian J. Dodson, Martin Castonguay, Don Jellyman, Kim Aarestrup and Katsumi Tsukamoto

Eels have been remotely tracked in their freshwater, brackish and marine habitats for five decades to understand the extent of their migrations and to ensure the conservation of these enigmatic species. Herein we review 105 studies that tracked eels and summarise findings relative to the species, life history stages and habitats studied. In addition, we discuss the need for continued development of telemetry technology and future research directions in eel biology.

MF17114Seasonal and diurnal methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the littoral area of the Miyun Reservoir in Beijing, China

Gang Li, Hongli Li, Meng Yang, Ting Lei, Mingxiang Zhang, Peter Bridgewater, Shuhong Wu and Guangchun Lei

This study assessed greenhouse gas flux (methane and carbon dioxide) in the littoral area of a temperate reservoir. The eulittoral zone had the highest methane flux and the supralittoral zone had the highest carbon dioxide flux. The results provide suggestions for monitoring and management activities to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs where changes in littoral areas are occurring.

MF17019Global extent and distribution of wetlands: trends and issues

N. C. Davidson, E. Fluet-Chouinard and C. M. Finlayson

Estimates of global wetland area have increased progressively since the 1980s because of improvements in remote sensing and mapping technologies. It is not a real increase, because natural wetlands have continued to be converted and lost over the same period. The most recent estimate of global wetland area is in excess of 12.1 × 106 km2, but is still likely to be an underestimate.

The present study is the first to investigate the bacterial communities associated with the harmful dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum using a pyrosequencing assay. Throughout the study, particle-associated (PA) and free-living (FL) bacterial communities were significantly associated with the growth phases of P. minimum. Although the FL and PA bacterial communities differed significantly, Roseobacter and Marinobacter clades showed a close association with the growth of P. minimum in both communities.

A large flood (436.6 m3 s–1) that occurred in the freshwater-deprived Kariega Estuary resulted in a normal longitudinal salinity gradient being present throughout the study period (December 2013–November 2014). This resulted in an increase in the abundance of early juvenile estuarine-associated marine fish, particularly in the middle and upper reaches, which was linked to an increase in nutrients and food availability, as well as increased nursery habitats.

Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of abiotic variables on phytoplankton in tropical and semi-arid climates. Climate was found to determine the effects of abiotic variables on the phytoplankton community in both an independent and synergistic manner. Phytoplankton in tropical and semi-arid reservoirs are mostly regulated by nutrients, the effects of which vary according to climate.

Historical and contemporary levels of white shark bycatch are unknown. Based on interviews with commercial fishers, the catch of white sharks off Western Australia was reconstructed, with the results suggesting that the catch peaked in the late 1980s. Fishers expressed doubts about the accuracy of self-reported white shark catch data, a requirement of current legislation. Efforts to accurately record this information should be improved.

Identification and understanding of human-induced wetland changes is critical for wise wetland use. This study investigated wetland changes in a rare wetland system in a popular tourist destination visited by >5 million people per year. The high number of tourists and their movement in buses have probably caused water-related changes. Determining the appropriate number of visitors is crucial for the wise use of wetlands that are tourist destinations.

This study systematically investigated the characteristics of P adsorption on the sediments of the intertidal zones in the Yellow River Delta. Salinity, pH and oxidation–reduction potential significantly affected the adsorption rate and amount of P adsorbed on the sediments in these zones. In addition, a predictive model for the P-adsorption capacity of sediments was developed. Together, the results could contribute to the restoration and management of intertidal zones.

MF17065Historical perspectives on the mangroves of Kakadu National Park

Richard Lucas, C. Max Finlayson, Renee Bartolo, Kerrylee Rogers, Anthea Mitchell, Colin D. Woodroffe, Emma Asbridge and Emilie Ens

Mangroves in Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory have undergone significant changes, occupying much of the lowlands c. 6000 years ago, but are now confined to the river margins and islands. Recent observations from satellite and aircraft have indicated that fluctuations in sea level exert a significant effect on the distribution of mangroves, with a drop in the sea level from 2015 to 2016 contributing to unprecedented dieback on the landward margins. 

MF16166Understanding climate-change adaptation on Kakadu National Park, using a combined diagnostic and modelling framework: a case study at Yellow Water wetland

Leo X. C. Dutra, Peter Bayliss, Sandra McGregor, Peter Christophersen, Kelly Scheepers, Emma Woodward, Emma Ligtermoet and Lizandra F. C. Melo

We have developed an approach to assess sea-level rise effects on socio-ecological systems, using Yellow Water wetland on Kakadu National Park as a case study. Sea-level rise will cause profound changes in the Park, but it may also provide an opportunity to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge towards a commonly perceived threat. Strategies that facilitate Indigenous people’s participation in research and monitoring programs are needed to improve understanding of impacts and enhance adaptive capacity.

Using a two-step statistically based, hierarchical, multiscaled approach to the floristic classification of ephemeral wetlands within western New South Wales, Australia, we define three ecoregions and 18 vegetation groups. Our approach shows that a consistent objective classification can be derived for vegetation systems with good data within regions that are otherwise poorly sampled.

The study investigated the effect of Murray River outflows on the coastal ocean productivity beyond the Murray Mouth. Using historical flow records and satellite-imagery products, our findings suggested that declining river flows have greatly reduced coastal ocean primary productivity. There are likely to be negative consequences of this on coastal ecosystems and fisheries, and the effects of outflows warrant improved consideration in river-management plans.

MF17093Physiological response of Arundo donax L. to thallium accumulation in a simulated wetland

Gaozhong Pu, Denan Zhang, Danjuan Zeng, Guangping Xu and Yuqing Huang

Thallium (Tl) is a highly toxic heavy metal, although the mechanisms underlying its toxicity are not completely understood. In this study we investigated the physiological responses of giant reed Arundo donax to Tl accumulation in a simulated wetland. The giant reed had strong tolerance to Tl pollution, and this can probably be attributed to its root rejection and amelioration of oxidative stress, which are involved in the mechanism of Tl toxicity.

This is the first study to investigate mucus as a potential new and useful material in elasmobranch dietary studies using stable isotope analysis. Mucus collected from giant manta rays was indicative of a broader short-term diet during aggregation periods in Ecuador, in comparison to muscle, which suggested long-term diet is more conservative. Both mucus and muscle support that giant manta rays predominately feed on zooplankton at a secondary consumer trophic level.

The rock hind is a medium-sized Atlantic reef grouper exploited by fisheries; it represents an important resource for small and medium-scale fisheries along the coast of Brazil. This study reports on the pattern of sexual development and demography of a protogynous species on the north-east coast of Brazil. A lack of fisheries management endangers the future sustainability of fisheries for this and other hermaphroditic species of groupers that otherwise may suffer declines similar to those observed for larger species.

MF17169Reproductive characteristics of three small-bodied cuttlefish in subtropical waters

Amanda L. Beasley, Karina C. Hall, Coral I. Latella, Peter L. Harrison, Stephen G. Morris and Anna Scott

The reproductive characteristics of three commercially important small-bodied cuttlefish (Sepia opipara, S. plangon and S. rozella) from subtropical Australia are described for the first time. All species showed year-round spawning, but differed in seasonality, reproductive mode, size at sexual maturity, mature oocyte and spermatophore sizes and potential fecundity. The findings of this study highlight the variable nature of cuttlefish life histories and the need for species-specific information for fisheries and conservation management.

MF17120Carbon sequestration and its controlling factors in the temperate wetland communities along the Bohai Sea, China

S. Ye, E. A. Laws, N. Yuknis, X. Y. Yu, X. Ding, H. Yuan, G. Zhao, J. Wang, S. Pei and H. Brix

Carbon sequestration rates (CSRs) and their controlling factors were determined in the Yellow River delta (YRD) and Liaohe delta (LHD) wetlands. Organic CSRs at sites above mean sea level were virtually identical in the two wetlands, but organic CSRs were much more sensitive to changes in sediment accumulation rates in the LHD wetlands than in the YRD wetlands.

MF17142Molecular distribution and toxicity assessment of yttrium in Elodea canadensis

Han Qiu, Miao Zhang, Dawei Zou, Siyuan Song, Yun Wan, Shuqing An and Xin Leng

Concentrations of rare earth elements (REEs) in freshwater environments are rising, but very little information is available regarding the accumulation and toxicity of REEs. Aquatic plants are known to accumulate and bioconcentrate metals. The aim of the present study was to explore the molecular distribution and assess the toxicity of yttrium in Elodea canadensis. The results indicate that Y accumulation occurred along a gradient, with the highest accumulation in cell walls, and that Y accumulation destroyed organelles and damaged the antioxidant system. This work suggests that metabolic parameters appear to be promising biomonitors of Y toxicity in aquatic plants.

MF17110Scale deformity descriptions for 23 species of fish, from various geographical areas and habitats

Laith A. Jawad, Ana L. Ibáñez, Zahra Sadighzadeh, Joacim Näslund and Erhan Ünlü

In this study, 63 cases of deformities were reported from 23 fish species collected from five countries. The observed abnormalities are discussed within the framework of contaminated aquatic environments, with a goal of recognising the cause of abnormality. There were 52 cases of slight and 9 of severe scale anomalies. The results of this study should assist in future work on the environmental condition.

An understanding of trace metal pollution due to reclamation activities is important for coastal resource utilisation and management. In the present study, although the pollution status around Yancheng National Nature Reserve was not so serious, the potential hazards may pose big threat to coastal ecosystems. Robust monitoring and sustainable land reclamation practices should be considered in coastal areas.

MF17159Effects of multiple dams on the metacommunity structure of stream macroinvertebrates

Y. Wan, J. Q. Yang, D. W. Zou, J. J. Li, Y. J. Qiao, S. Q. An and X. Leng

The excessive presence of dams in river ecosystems causes a series of ecological problems. The present study explored the combined effects of multiple dams on macroinvertebrate metacommunity structure and found that the direct effects of dam by limiting dispersal were greater than the indirect effects by changing environmental conditions. The results provide a theoretical basis for biodiversity conservation in river ecosystems.

Interspecific relationships were analysed using the Chi-Square test, Spearman rank correlation coefficient and Ward’s method of hierarchical clustering on field data collected from 4 plots and 160 quadrats. The results imply that exotic species can coexist with native species and become a common species composition when they have existed for a sufficient period of time in artificial wetland forests.

This paper provides a description and evaluation of a retrieval pod that can be attached to remote release underwater telemetric or oceanographic devices to facilitate the retrieval of moorings. The system was successfully tested in an estuary after consecutive 6-month deployments. The pods are a convenient and low-cost option for the retrieval of moorings deployed with remote release systems.

MF17130Examining trends in abundance of an overexploited elasmobranch species in a nursery area closure

Jaime D. McAllister, Adam Barnett, Jeremy M. Lyle, Kilian M. Stehfest and Jayson M. Semmens

This study compared recent and historic longline catch rates to determine whether juvenile school shark (Galeorhinus galeus) continue to use nursery areas closed to fishing in south-eastern Australia, following overfishing during the 1940s and 1950s. Our data suggest that abundances in the nursery areas may have increased, or at least remained stable, since the 1990s, which may be indicative of some stock recovery.

In the absence of biological data, marine conservation planning is often based on environmental characteristics as surrogates for biodiversity. This study demonstrated that depth categories effectively represent soft sediment mollusc assemblages in the Cape Byron Marine Park. Biotic patterns were also correlated with sediment characteristics, suggesting that inclusion of both depth and sediment type in habitat classifications systems may improve representation for infaunal molluscs.

Stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) have been widely used to investigate marine-predator movement and foraging ecology. In the present study, intra-regional range of isotope values indicated that squid off Ecuador feed at the same trophic level with similar primary production, whereas squid off Chile, especially Peru, migrate over a large geographic range and occupy a wide range of trophic levels.

The ontogenetic performance of DNA and RNA content and the nutritional condition of Prochilodus lineatus were studied in larvae reared under different feeding treatments. The availability of food following a period of starvation seemed to trigger larval metabolism and cellular division. The ratio of RNA/DNA promptly reflected changes in larval feeding conditions and could be used to assess the nutritional condition of both wild and cultured P. lineatus larvae.

MF17199Hydrographic maintenance of deep anoxia in a tidally influenced saline lagoon

S. Kelly, E. de Eyto, M. Dillane, R. Poole, G. Brett and M. White

Dissolved oxygen depletion is a rising concern in global aquatic ecosystems. In this study we used high-resolution, multiyear observations of a coastal environment to show prolonged periods of anoxia, with rare re-oxygenation events being caused by unusual combinations of climatic and oceanographic conditions. These findings highlight that dissolved oxygen dynamics in coastal habitats may be modified by climate-driven environmental change.

MF17151Effects of tree thinning on carbon sequestration in mangroves

Chuan-Wen Ho, Jih-Sheng Huang and Hsing-Juh Lin

Mangrove overgrowth could decrease biodiversity and increase flooding risk. Mangrove thinning has been proposed as a managerial action to solve this problem. This study found that medium thinning is the optimal strategy to meet the demand of reducing the loss of carbon sequestration capacity for mangrove management.

We conducted a field experiment to test whether visual cues influenced the relative abundance of fish on an artificial reef. Visual cues from an illusion created by a mirror installed on the reef increased the relative abundance of highly reef-associated fish. Our finding demonstrates that visual cues play a decisive role in enhancing local fish abundance on artificial reefs.

MF16400Business as usual for the human use of Moreton Bay following marine park zoning

R. A. Kenyon, R. C. Babcock, Q. Dell, E. Lawrence, C. Moeseneder and M. L. Tonks

Rezoning of Moreton Bay Marine Park increased the no-take area from 0.5 to 16%, incorporating 10% of each major habitat type. Displacement of fishing effort was 6.3%, demonstrating that science-based conservation and community consultation can protect biodiverse habitats, while maintaining existing uses of a marine park. However, achieving biodiversity conservation must rely on ensuring no-take zones adequately represent ecological processes.

The sea mullet Mugil cephalus is a commercially important species globally and within Australia. The eastern Australian stock of sea mullet has a long history of heavy exploitation during its annual northerly spawning migration, yet the fishery is sustainable. Here we propose a model whereby sex-specific differences in life history and biological parameters contribute to population resilience and so support a sustainable commercial fishery.

Biodiversity is a multifaceted concept. Patterns of the taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity of fish were studied across a depth gradient from 3 to 31 m. The results demonstrated decays in biodiversity, from different perspectives, of reef fish with depth, which are connected with shifts in fish traits, in particular their shape and trophic mode.

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