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

Sophie A. M. Elliott, Alessandro D. Sabatino, Michael R. Heath, William R. Turrell, David M. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nature conservation and fisheries management often focuses 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 (MPA) 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) was 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 seabed types for fish and not just individual seabed types. These results therefore have important implications for MPA, fisheries management and monitoring advice concerning demersal fish populations.
LanguageEnglish
Article numbere0189011
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS One
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2017

Fingerprint

Gadus morhua
Fisheries
demersal fish
Fish
Merlangius merlangus
Fishes
fetch
Geology
fishery management
fisheries management
protected area
relative abundance
conservation areas
Video cameras
Gravel
gadoid
Ecosystems
modeling
Melanogrammus aeglefinus
Ecosystem

Keywords

  • landscape
  • habitat
  • distribution modelling
  • fisheries management
  • demersal fish
  • stereo-video imagery

Cite this

Elliott, Sophie A. M. ; Sabatino, Alessandro D. ; Heath, Michael R. ; Turrell, William R. ; Bailey, David M. . / Landscape effects on demersal fish revealed by field observations and predictive seabed modelling. In: PLoS One. 2017 ; Vol. 12, No. 12.
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Landscape effects on demersal fish revealed by field observations and predictive seabed modelling. / Elliott, Sophie A. M.; Sabatino, Alessandro D.; Heath, Michael R.; Turrell, William R.; Bailey, David M. .

In: PLoS One, Vol. 12, No. 12, e0189011, 11.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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