Herbivorous fishes and the potential of Caribbean marine reserves to preserve coral reef ecosystems
|Author(s)||Kopp Dorothee1, 2, Bouchon-Navaro Yolande1, Louis Max1, Mouillot David3, Bouchon Claude1|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : Univ Antilles Guyane, Biol Marine Lab, DYNECAR, Pointe A Pitre 97159, Guadeloupe.
2 : IFREMER, EMH, F-44311 Nantes 03, France.
3 : Univ Montpellier 2, CNRS, IFREMER, UMR 5119,IRD,ECOLAG, F-34095 Montpellier 5, France.
|Source||Aquatic Conservation-marine And Freshwater Ecosystems (1052-7613) (John Wiley & Sons Ltd), 2010-07 , Vol. 20 , N. 5 , P. 516-524|
|WOS© Times Cited||3|
|Keyword(s)||marine protected areas, canonical analysis of principal coordinates, sex change, coral reefs, phase shifts, Caribbean|
|Abstract||1. The development of macroalgae to the detriment of corals is now one of the major threats to coral reefs. Herbivorous fishes are partly responsible for algal regulation on coral reefs and their overexploitation favours the shift from scleractinian coral-dominated systems towards macroalgae-dominated systems. 2. Marine protected areas (MPAs) that have been established worldwide may benefit coral reefs through the maintenance of high densities of herbivorous fishes which regulate algal growth. 3. The paper assesses whether small MPAs in the Caribbean are able to enhance herbivorous fish stock and by controlling macroalgae help to maintain reef ecosystems. A visual census using band-transects was undertaken around Guadeloupe island where marine reserves have been in place since 1979. The effects of MPAs on both benthic communities and herbivorous fishes are examined. 4. Inside MPAs, herbivorous fish biomass was almost twice as high as outside MPAs and macroalgal cover was significantly lower. Fish size class distributions revealed that large individuals occurred mainly inside MPAs and that few male individuals were found outside MPAs. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.|