QUANTIFYING ABUNDANCE OF PREDATORS USING EXPERIMENTAL HOOK AND LINE FISHING: COMPARISONS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE A MARINE PROTECTED AREA IN THE CENTRAL ADRIATICReport as inadecuate




QUANTIFYING ABUNDANCE OF PREDATORS USING EXPERIMENTAL HOOK AND LINE FISHING: COMPARISONS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE A MARINE PROTECTED AREA IN THE CENTRAL ADRIATIC - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Croatian Journal of Fisheries : Ribarstvo, Vol.70 No.Supplement 1 January 2012. -

A fundamental question in ecology is the role of predators in limiting their prey populations. This question can be approached for shallow marine fish communities by comparison of abundance of species inside and outside marine protected areas MPAs, where fishing restrictions may enforce large abundance differences in large top predators. The first step in demonstrating differences in these populations is the development and testing of methods capable of estimating abundance of fast-swimming and alert species which generally are difficult to quantify with traditional net-based sampling or visual census. That the method of experimental fishing with hook and line is capable of sampling predatory fish of a wide range of sizes, from 15 to 125 cm, inside and outside an MPA in the central Adriatic Sea, Kornati National Park, Croatia, was demonstrated in this preliminary study. Evidence of significantly more abundant top predators inside the MPA and a significantly higher mean size of fish overall was found. A total of 11 species of fish were sampled across several benthic habitats, of which six were found only in the MPA. It is concluded that the MPA represents a natural experiment with greater abundance of larger predators than outside, and that experimental fishing can take advantage of these differences to test the hypothesis of top-down regulation of fish communities.

experimental fishing; MPA; top-down regulation; top predators; mesopredators



Author: Biljana Agić - ; Department of Maritime Science, University of Zadar, Pavlinovića bb, 23000 Zadar, Croatia Ivana Zubak - ; Depa

Source: http://hrcak.srce.hr/



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