Trawling footprint and diversity of benthic communities in the Menorca Channel (western Mediterranean).
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AuthorsFarriols, M.T. (Maria Teresa); Fernández-Arcaya, U.(Ulla); Ordines, F. (Francesc); Palomino, D. (Desirée); De la Ballina, N. (Núria); Marco-Herrero, E. (Elena); Martínez-Carreño, N.; Díaz, J. (Julio); Mallol, S. (Sandra); Ramírez-Amaro, S. (Sergio); Muñoz-Caballero, A. (Anabel); Díaz, D. (David); Vázquez, J.T. (Juan Tomás); Massutí, E. (Enric)
It is well known that bottom trawling affects the abiotic (seafloor morphology, sediment resuspension, water turbidity) and biotic components (biodiversity, biomass and production) of habitats. However, comparative studies on the effect of trawling on epibenthic communities of sedimentary bottoms are scarce. One of the objectives of LIFE IP INTEMARES project is to assess the impact of bottom trawling on vulnerable benthic habitats of the circalittoral bottoms of the Menorca Channel (western Mediterranean), designated Site of Community Importance (SCI) within the Natura 2000 network. The present study compares the benthic communities of four areas subjected to different bottom trawl fishing intensity levels (null, intermediate and high). The assignment of fishing effort levels was based on the fishing effort distribution in the area calculated from Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data. The biological samples were collected from 46 beam trawl stations sampled during a scientific ...