Disentangling trophic interactions inside a Caribbean marine reserve
Kellner, Julie B.
Litvin, Steven Y.
Mumby, Peter J.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordBottom-up; Coral reef; Ecosystem-based management; Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park; Bahamas; Fishing pressure; Generalist predator; Marine protected areas; Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus); Stoplight parrotfish (Sparisoma viride); Top-down; Trophic cascades; Yellowtail snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus)
Recent empirical studies have demonstrated that human activities such as fishing can strongly affect the natural capital and services provided by tropical seascapes. However, policies to mitigate anthropogenic impacts can also alter food web structure and interactions, regardless of whether the regulations are aimed at single or multiple species, with possible unexpected consequences for the ecosystems and their associated services. Complex community response to management interventions have been highlighted in the Caribbean, where, contrary to predictions from linear food chain models, a reduction in fishing intensity through the establishment of a marine reserve has led to greater biomass of herbivorous fish inside the reserve, despite an increased abundance of large predatory piscivores. This positive multi-trophic response, where both predators and prey benefit from protection, highlights the need to take an integrated approach that considers how numerous factors control species coexistence in both fished and unfished systems. In order to understand these complex relationships, we developed a general model to examine the trade-offs between fishing pressure and trophic control on reef fish communities, including an exploration of top-down and bottom-up effects. We then validated the general model predictions by parameterizing the model for a reef system in the Bahamas in order to tease apart the wide range of species responses to reserves in the Caribbean. Combining the development of general theory and site-specific models parameterized with field data reveals the underlying driving forces in these communities and enables us to make better predictions about possible population and community responses to different management schemes.
Author Posting. © Ecological Society of America, 2010. This article is posted here by permission of Ecological Society of America for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Ecological Applications 20 (2010): 1979–1992, doi:10.1890/09-1217.1.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Effects of preservation methods of muscle tissue from upper-trophic level reef fishes on stable isotope values (δ13C and δ15N) Stallings, Christopher D.; Nelson, James A.; Rozar, Katherine L.; Adams, Charles S.; Wall, Kara R.; Switzer, Theodore S.; Winner, Brent L.; Hollander, David J. (PeerJ, 2015-03-26)Research that uses stable isotope analysis often involves a delay between sample collection in the field and laboratory processing, therefore requiring preservation to prevent or reduce tissue degradation and associated ...
Hammerschmidt, Chad R.; Fitzgerald, William F. (2006-02-22)Humans are exposed to methylmercury (MeHg) principally by consumption of marine fish. The coastal zone supports the majority of marine fish production, and may therefore be an important source of MeHg to humans; however, ...
The ecology of colonial radiolarians : their colony morphology, trophic interactions and associations, behavior, distribution, and the photosynthesis of their symbionts Swanberg, Neil Ralph (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1979-08)Colonial radiolarians (Spumellaria) are among the most common and abundant large zooplankton, but they have been little studied by modern biologists. Colonies were found on 98% of epipelagic diving stations in the period ...