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Exploring seagrass fish assemblages in relation to the habitat patch mosaic in the brackish Baltic Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. AquaBiota Water Research, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. AquaBiota Water Research, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. AquaBiota Water Research, Sweden.
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Number of Authors: 62020 (English)In: Marine Biodiversity, ISSN 1867-1616, E-ISSN 1867-1624, Vol. 50, no 1, article id 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Assessing the influence of habitat patch dynamics on faunal communities is a growing area of interest within marine ecological studies. This study sets out to determine fish assemblage composition in Zostera marina (L.) meadows and ascertain how habitat structural complexity and seascape structure (i.e. composition and configuration of habitat patches) influenced these assemblages in the northern Baltic Sea. Using ten seascapes (600 m in diameter), the fish assemblage was surveyed both in summer and autumn using beach seine. We found that the fish assemblage was clearly dominated by sticklebacks, followed by pipefish and with a general absence of larger piscivorous species. Biomass of fish did not differ between seasons, and low-level carnivores dominated the trophic structure. Overall, at the larger seascape-scale in summer, the proportion of bare soft sediment showed a negative relationship with fish biomass, while diversity of patches was found to exhibit a positive association with fish biomass. At the smaller habitat scale, both seagrass shoot height and density had a negative influence on fish biomass in both seasons. This study outlines new knowledge regarding how the mosaic of habitat patches shape seagrass fish assemblages in the northern Baltic Sea.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 50, no 1, article id 1
Keywords [en]
Seascape ecology, Zostera marina, Three-spined stickleback, Trophic level, Spatial pattern metrics
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179637DOI: 10.1007/s12526-019-01025-yISI: 000512135100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-179637DiVA, id: diva2:1413083
Available from: 2020-03-09 Created: 2020-03-09 Last updated: 2020-03-09Bibliographically approved

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Staveley, Thomas A. B.Wikström, Sofia A.Gullström, Martin
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Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant SciencesStockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
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Marine Biodiversity
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