|Title:||Multivariate analysis of the bentho-demersal ichthyofauna along soft bottoms of the Eastern Atlantic: Comparison between unvegetated substrates, seagrass meadows and sandy bottoms beneath sea-cage fish farms||Authors:||Tuya, Fernando
Haroun, Ricardo J.
|UNESCO Clasification:||310502 Piscicultura
241705 Biología marina
|Issue Date:||2005||Publisher:||0025-3162||Journal:||Marine Biology||Abstract:||By means of multivariate techniques, we studied: (1) the differences in the structure of bentho-demersal, non-cryptic, fish assemblages associated with unvegetated sandy substrates, vegetated meadows constituted by the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa and the bottoms under the influence of sea-cage fish farms; as well as (2) the persistence of these patterns with regard to different scales of spatial variability, across three islands of the Canarian Archipelago (Central East Atlantic). Our sampling strategy (involving three islands, with five locations per island, and two sites within each location) detected significant changes in the composition and structure of the fish assemblages between the three habitats. Fish assemblages associated with the unvegetated and vegetated bottoms were similar among the surveyed islands. In contrast, we observed a significant inter-island variability in the fish populations associated with the sea-cage fish farms. The presence of the sea-cage fish farms increased the overall fish abundance (184.8±49.8 ind 100 m−2) as compared to both the vegetated (38.8±9.7 ind 100 m−2) and unvegetated habitats (1.1±0.4 ind 100 m−2). Differences within and between the habitats were found to be associated with the relative abundance of a few fish species. The most abundant species were Xyrichthys novacula in the unvegetated bottoms and Diplodus annularis, Spondyliosoma cantharus and Mullus surmuletus on the seagrass meadows. Finally, we recorded an increase in the abundance of Heteroconger longissimus, Trachinus draco and Pagellus acarne in the bottoms beneath the sea-cage fish farms. These species, in addition to a group of large benthic chondrichthyes, were responsible for the differences between islands in the composition and structure of the demersal ichthyofauna beneath the sea-cage fish farms.||URI:||http://hdl.handle.net/10553/49618||ISSN:||0025-3162||DOI:||10.1007/s00227-005-0018-1||Source:||Marine Biology [ISSN 0025-3162], v. 147, p. 1229-1237|
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