Multidisciplinary assessment of nearshore nursery habitat restoration for an exploited population of marine fish

Type Article
Date 2021-12
Language English
Author(s) Champagnat Juliette1, Lecomte Jean BaptisteORCID1, 2, Rivot E1, Douchet L1, Martin N1, Grasso FlorentORCID3, Mounier F4, Labadie P5, Loizeau VeroniqueORCID6, Bacq N7, Le Pape Olivier1
Affiliation(s) 1 : DECOD (Ecosystem Dynamics and Sustainability), Institut Agro, IFREMER, INRAE, 35042 Rennes, France
2 : DECOD (Ecosystem Dynamics and Sustainability), IFREMER, INRAE, Institut Agro, 44311 Nantes, France
3 : DYNECO/DHYSED, Hydro Sediment Dynamics Lab, IFREMER, 29280 Plouzané, France
4 : DataReportR, 33610 Canéjan, France
5 : Univ. Bordeaux, CNRS, UMR 5805 EPOC, 33405 Talence, France
6 : PFOM/LARN, LEMAR UMR 6539, IFREMER, 29280 Plouzané, France
7 : GIP Seine-Aval, 76176 Rouen, France
Source Marine Ecology Progress Series (0171-8630) (Inter-Research Science Center), 2021-12 , Vol. 680 , P. 97-109
DOI 10.3354/meps13881
WOS© Times Cited 3
Keyword(s) Common sole, Solea solea, Life-cycle model, Population dynamics, Anthropogenic pressures, Coastal degradation, Essential fish habitat

Nearshore habitats are essential for many marine fish species but are subject to anthropogenic stressors. Assessing the consequences of essential fish habitat degradation on population dynamics and productivity is challenging. We address this by focusing on a metapopulation of the common sole Solea solea, a high-value, exploited flatfish in the Eastern English Channel (EEC). Multidisciplinary data and expert knowledge were compiled to build feasible restoration scenarios for the availability of suitable habitat (measured in habitat surface extent) and chemical quality of juvenile habitats in the highly anthropized Seine estuary, the largest estuary and potentially a sole nursery area of primary interest in the EEC. Scenarios were simulated with a spatially structured life-cycle model to investigate the consequences of local restoration on restricted nursery habitats in the estuary. Restoring surface extent and habitat quality in the Seine estuary dramatically enhances spawning stock biomass (+18%) and fishery catches (+13%) in the EEC. Restoring habitat quality has a greater effect than restoring habitat surface. Because of the low connectivity between subpopulations of sole in the EEC, most of the local restoration benefits remain regional and affect the subpopulation that directly depends on the Seine nursery, with only moderate spread to the entire EEC. Our study emphasizes the utility of spatial simulation models for integrating multidisciplinary knowledge and assessing the consequences of local anthropogenic pressures at wider metapopulation scales. We provide a means of building robust methods to assess the benefits of nearshore habitat restoration for enhancing fish populations and fisheries and integrate habitat value into the sustainable management of exploited species.

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Champagnat Juliette, Lecomte Jean Baptiste, Rivot E, Douchet L, Martin N, Grasso Florent, Mounier F, Labadie P, Loizeau Veronique, Bacq N, Le Pape Olivier (2021). Multidisciplinary assessment of nearshore nursery habitat restoration for an exploited population of marine fish. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 680, 97-109. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :