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Changes in invertebrate and macroalgal populations in Tasmanian marine reserves in the decade following protection
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-17, 01:16 authored by Neville BarrettNeville Barrett, Colin BuxtonColin Buxton, Graham EdgarGraham Edgar
Densities of macrobenthic invertebrates and macro-algae in four Tasmanian ‘no-take’ marine protected areas (MPAs) were monitored annually for 10 years following MPA establishment, with changes compared to those at external (fished) reference locations. Fishing substantially influenced the population characteristics of many species, including altering the mean size and abundance of rock lobsters and the abundance of prey species such as urchins and abalone. Strong declines in abundances of purple urchins and abalone within the largest MPA at Maria Island indicate likely indirect effects related to protection of predators from fishing. The two smallest MPAs (ca. 1 km coastal span) generated few detectable changes. Our results affirm the importance of long-term monitoring and the value of MPAs, when sufficiently large, as reference areas for determining and understanding ecosystem effects of fishing in the absence of historical baseline data.
Publication titleJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
Place of publicationNetherlands
Rights statementThe definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com