High coral cover and subsequent high fish richness on mature breakwaters in Taiwan

Wen, Colin Kuo-Chang, Chen, Kao-Song, Hsieh, Hernyi Justin, Hsu, Chia-Min, and Chen, Chaolun Allen (2013) High coral cover and subsequent high fish richness on mature breakwaters in Taiwan. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 72 (1). pp. 55-63.

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Breakwaters are widely used in coastal development. Breakwaters can alter habitats by undermining shallow coastal ecosystems, especially coral reefs. However, recent studies indicate that mature breakwaters can have well-developed corals and coral-associated fishes. Breakwaters with colonized corals may act as surrogates of natural coral reefs against the global coral crisis. Here, we examined the composition of corals, fishes, and benthic biota/abiota between natural reefs and mature breakwaters to evaluate the possibility of breakwaters supplementing natural reefs. We found equal or higher coral cover, fish abundance, and species richness on breakwaters. Conversely, differential coral growth forms and fish assemblages on mature breakwaters suggested the irreplaceability of natural reefs. Corals and coral reef fishes on mature man-made structures, however, may improve the resistance and resilience of coral reefs. Conclusively, despite high coral cover on mature man-made structures appropriate management (e.g., marine reserves) is still necessary to sustain the coral reefs.

Item ID: 29056
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: man-made structure, artificial reef, coral reef fishes
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2013 05:28
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960812 Urban and Industrial Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 20%
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