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Relationships between macro-epibenthic communities and fish on the shelf grounds of the western Mediterranean
Ordines, F.; Massutí, E. (2009). Relationships between macro-epibenthic communities and fish on the shelf grounds of the western Mediterranean. Aquat. Conserv. 19(4): 370-383.
In: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Wiley: Chichester; New York . ISSN 1052-7613; e-ISSN 1099-0755
Peer reviewed article  

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    Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee: Non-open access 304442 [ request ]

Author keywords
    bottom trawl; shelf; macro-epibenthic communities; habitats; habitats; fishing exploitation

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • Ordines, F.
  • Massutí, E.

    1.The present study characterizes the macro-epibenthic assemblages, and the relationships between demersal species and benthic habitats on the shelf trawl fishing grounds off the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean).2.The data used were collected during experimental bottom trawl surveys from 2002 to 2005. A total of 157 samples from 38–255 m depth were analysed.3.Three macro-epibenthic assemblages were identified in both the shallow (at 38–91 m) and deep shelf (90–255 m). Macroalgae bathymetric distribution was identified as the main factor explaining the segregation between shallow and deep shelf assemblages.4.Two especially sensitive habitats were identified: maërl and crinoid beds; a third habitat was identified as Peyssonnelia beds, which represented the highest biomass on the whole shelf, with a similar species richness to the maërl beds. On the deep shelf, crinoid beds represented the highest biomass.5.Habitat type had a significant effect on the distribution of demersal commercial species, most of them being more abundant in the two sensitive habitats mentioned and in the Peyssonnelia beds. Some species showed size-specific habitat preferences.6.Fisheries management in the area should take into account the resilience of these benthic habitats

  • MEDITS-Spain: Demersal and mega-benthic species from the MEDITS (Mediterranean International Trawl Survey) project on the Spanish continental shelf between 1994 and 2009

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