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Biodiversity loss in seagrass meadows due to local invertebrate fisheries and harbour activities
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, ISSN 0272-7714, E-ISSN 1096-0015, Vol. 135, 231-240 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seagrass meadows provide a wide variety of ecosystem services, but their distribution and health are adversely affected by man. In the present study, we examined the influence of coastal exploitation in terms of invertebrate harvesting and harbour activity on invertebrate community composition in subtropical seagrass meadows at Inhaca Island, Mozambique, in the Western Indian Ocean. There was a fivefold higher invertebrate density and biomass, and clearly higher invertebrate species richness, in the protected (control) site compared to the two exploited sites. The causes for the clear differences between protected and exploited sites were probably a result of (1) the directional outtake of large edible or saleable invertebrates (mostly molluscs) and the absence of boat traffic in the harvested site, and (2) harbour activities. Invertebrate community composition in the two exploited sites also differed (although less clear), which was likely due to inherent distinction in type of disturbance. Our findings revealed that protection of seagrass habitat is necessary and that disturbances of different origin might require different forms of management and conservation. Designing protected areas is however a complex process due to competition for use and space with activities such as invertebrate harvesting and harbours.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 135, 231-240 p.
Keyword [en]
intertidal zone, Thalassodendron ciliatum, protected area, Western Indian ocean, Mozambique, Inhaca Island
National Category
Biological Sciences Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100106DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2013.10.019ISI: 000328871300024OAI: diva2:691903


Available from: 2014-01-29 Created: 2014-01-27 Last updated: 2014-01-29Bibliographically approved

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Gullström, Martin
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Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
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