The influence of seafloor terrain on fish and fisheries: a global synthesis

Borland, Hayden P., Gilby, Ben L., Henderson, Christopher J., Leon, Javier X., Schlacher, Thomas A., Connolly, Rod M., Pittman, Simon J., Sheaves, Marcus, and Olds, Andrew D. (2021) The influence of seafloor terrain on fish and fisheries: a global synthesis. Fish and Fisheries, 22 (4). pp. 707-734.

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The structure of seafloor terrain affects the distribution and diversity of animals in all seascapes. Effects of terrain on fish assemblages have been reported from most ecosystems, but it is unclear whether bathymetric effects vary among seascapes or change in response to seafloor modification by humans. We reviewed the global literature linking seafloor terrain to fish species and assemblages (96 studies) and determined that relief (e.g. depth), complexity (e.g. roughness), feature classes (e.g. substrate types) and morphology (e.g. curvature), have widespread effects on fish assemblages. Research on the ecological consequences of terrain have focused on coral reefs, rocky reefs, continental shelves and the deep sea (n ≥ 20 studies), but are rarely tested in estuaries (n = 7). Fish associate with a variety of terrain attributes, and assemblages change with variation in the depth and aspect of bathymetric features in reef and shelf seascapes, and in the deep sea. Fish from different seascapes also respond to distinct metrics, with fluctuations in slope of slope (coral reefs), rugosity (rocky reefs) and slope (continental shelves, deep sea) each linked to changes in assemblage composition. Terrain simplification from coastal urbanization (e.g. dredging) and resource extraction (e.g. trawling) can reduce fish diversity and abundance, but assemblages can also recover inside effective marine reserves. The consequences of these terrain changes for fish and fisheries are, however, rarely measured in most seascapes. The key challenge now is to examine how terrain modification and conservation combine to alter fish distributions and fisheries productivity across diverse coastal seascapes.

Item ID: 70322
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-2979
Keywords: bathymetry, fish, morphology, seafloor complexity, seascape ecology, vertical relief
Copyright Information: Published Version: © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Accepted Version may be made open access in an Institutional Repository after a 12 month embargo.
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2021 05:43
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180201 Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems @ 100%
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