Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The structure of Mediterranean rocky reef ecosystems across environmental and human gradients, and conservation implications
Author: Sala Gamito, Enric
Ballesteros i Sagarra, Enric, 1958-
Dendrinos, Panagiotis
Di Franco, Antonio
Ferretti, Francesco
Foley, David
Fraschetti, Simonetta
Friedlander, Alan
Garrabou Vancells, Joaquim
Guclusoy, Harun
Guidetti, Paolo
Halpern, Benjamin S.
Hereu Fina, Bernat
Karamanlidis, Alexandros A.
Kizilkaya, Zafer
Macpherson, Enrique
Mangialajo, Luisa
Mariani, Simone
Micheli, Fiorenza
Pais, Antonio
Riser, Kristin
Rosenberg, Andrew A.
Sales Villalonga, Marta
Selkoe, Kimberly A.
Starr, Richard M.
Tomàs Nash, Fiona
Zabala i Limousin, Mikel
Keywords: Ecosistemes
Biologia de la conservació
Mediterrània, Mar
Biotic communities
Conservation biology
Mediterranean Sea
Issue Date: 29-Feb-2012
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Abstract: Historical exploitation of the Mediterranean Sea and the absence of rigorous baselines makes it difficult to evaluate the current health of the marine ecosystems and the efficacy of conservation actions at the ecosystem level. Here we establish the first current baseline and gradient of ecosystem structure of nearshore rocky reefs at the Mediterranean scale. We conducted underwater surveys in 14 marine protected areas and 18 open access sites across the Mediterranean, and across a 31-fold range of fish biomass (from 3.8 to 118 g m22). Our data showed remarkable variation in the structure of rocky reef ecosystems. Multivariate analysis showed three alternative community states: (1) large fish biomass and reefs dominated by non-canopy algae, (2) lower fish biomass but abundant native algal canopies and suspension feeders, and (3) low fish biomass and extensive barrens, with areas covered by turf algae. Our results suggest that the healthiest shallow rocky reef ecosystems in the Mediterranean have both large fish and algal biomass. Protection level and primary production were the only variables significantly correlated to community biomass structure. Fish biomass was significantly larger in well-enforced no-take marine reserves, but there were no significant differences between multi-use marine protected areas (which allow some fishing) and open access areas at the regional scale. The gradients reported here represent a trajectory of degradation that can be used to assess the health of any similar habitat in the Mediterranean, and to evaluate the efficacy of marine protected areas.
Note: Reproducció del document publicat a:
It is part of: PLoS One, 2012, vol. 7, num. 2, p. e32742
Related resource:
ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
604197.pdf700.92 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is in the public domain Creative Commons