Effects of artificial reefs on fish grazing in their vicinity: Evidence from algae presentation experiments

Shai Einbinder, Amir Perelberg, Oded Ben-Shaprut, Marie H. Foucart, Nadav Shashar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Artificial reefs have been suggested as a tool for conservation and restoration of marine habitats. However, the relationships between coral reef habitats and man-made structures are poorly understood. We experimentally tested whether artificial reefs change grazing patterns in their surrounding environment. We exposed heaps of the macroalgae, Ulva lactuca, to natural grazing, at various distances from three artificial reefs. Results suggest that artificial reefs change grazing patterns in the neighboring area. In all the locations examined grazing was 2-3 times higher near the artificial reefs than in control sites (p < 0.05). We suggest that herbivorous fishes are attracted to the artificial reefs, creating a zone of increased grazing. Therefore, while planning deployment of such artificial reefs it is necessary to consider their overall influence on their natural surroundings, in order to maintain the natural community trophic dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Volume61
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Algae
  • Artificial habitats
  • Eilat
  • Foraging
  • Herbivorous fish
  • Interaction
  • Red-Sea
  • Rehabilitation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of artificial reefs on fish grazing in their vicinity: Evidence from algae presentation experiments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this