Morpho‐demographic traits of two maërl‐forming algae in beds with different depths and fishing histories
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AuthorsCabanellas-Reboredo, M. (Miguel); Mallol, S. (Sandra); Barberá, C. (Carmen); Vergés, A. (Alba); Díaz, D. (David); Goñi, R. (Raquel)
fishing the line
marine protected area
1. Maërl is a benthic community composed of accumulations of coralline red algae with an essential eco‐biological role in marine ecosystems. 2. This low‐resilience community has acquired a high conservation status as many anthropogenic impacts threaten this globally distributed ecosystem. Some of the potentially more important but less studied impacts are those caused by fishing activities due to the lack of proper controls. 3. This study investigates the potential fishing impacts and depth‐related differences on the rhodolith morpho‐demographic traits of two maërl‐forming algae, Lithothamnion corallioides and Spongites fruticulosus, with distinct morphologies (ramified vs nucleated). 4. Rhodolith size and shape (roundness and solidity) indicators were assessed in maërl beds protected from fishing inside a large 25‐year old no‐take MPA, in a contiguous 6‐year no‐take zone, and in adjacent fished beds. 5. Rhodoliths of both species were bigger, rounder (spherical) and more solid (struct ...
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