Sea urchin reduction as a restoration technique in a new marine park

McClanahan, T.R., Arthur, R., Kaunda-Arara, B., Kiambo, R., Machano, H., Mangi, S., Muthiga, N., and Rodrigues, M. (2000) Sea urchin reduction as a restoration technique in a new marine park. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Coral Reef Symposium (2) pp. 947-953. From: 9th International Coral Reef Symposium: World Coral Reefs in the New Millenium, 23-27 October 2000, Bali, Indonesia.

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Coral reefs degraded from heavy fishing may require both fisheries management and habitat manipulation in order to promote desired species of fishes and corals. High population densities of sea urchins is a common form of reef degradation and this study compares two efforts to determine the effects of sea urchin reduction on reef ecology. These experiments were undertaken after protection from fishing to determine if sea urchin reduction combined with reduced fishing would promote the recovery of hard corals and finfishes. Experiments were done at two scales, a small (- 50 m x 50 m) area studied for one year and a large (100 m x 100 m) area studied for three years. Both experiments found increases in fleshy algae, estimates of total finfish wet weights, and particularly parrotfish, wrasses and scavengers biomass after the manipulation. Changes in fish Wet Weights were smaller in the large compared to the small scale experiments which suggests a dilution effect with the increasing spatial scale of the manipulation. The small scale manipulation produced a loss while the large scale manipulation produced an increase in hard coral cover. In both cases this appeared to be caused by an initial rapid increase in fleshy algae during the first 200 days of the experin1ent. Afterwards, fleshy algae decreased and hard coral increased. The decrease in fleshy algae and increase in hard coral were probably attributable to increased herbivory and seasonal storms. The eventual Joss of algae combined with reduced sea urchin grazing promoted hard corals. Sea urchin reduction after the cessation of fishing is a useful reef restoration technique but requires fishing restrictions and time to promote coral recovery.

Item ID: 14671
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 979-8105-97-4
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2017 04:48
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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