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Title

An approach to link changes in benthic community structure with the delivery of ecosystem services in trawling grounds

AuthorsMuntadas, Alba ; de Juan, Silvia ; Demestre, Montserrat
KeywordsMediterranean
Ecosystem services
Trawling
Ecosystem function
Biological traits
Issue Date19-Jun-2014
CitationICES Symposium Effects of fishing on benthic fauna, habitat and ecosystem function. Program and abstracts: 55 (2014)
AbstractSpecies interactions and their biological traits determine the function of benthic communities and hence the delivery of ecosystem services. Trawling activities modify the benthic community structure, which might imply alteration of species interactions, traits composition and indirectly the ecosystem function (Bremner, 2008). In order to investigate these patterns in trawled ecosystems, we studied epifaunal functionality in 13 sites from 6 different soft bottom areas across the Mediterranean which were subjected to different levels of fishing effort. Fourteen biological traits were assigned to epifaunal species and based on these traits 17 Ecosystem Service Providers (ESP) were designed. These ESPs were characterised by traits related with five key ecosystem functions in the study areas and each type contributed qualitatively differently to functional performance. For example, the ESP >high bioturbators> were large subsurface bioturbators highly contributing to nutrient cycling, i.e. a regulating ecosystem service. Abundance and biomass of species assigned to the same ESP were summed and effects of environmental variables, such as fishing disturbance, sediment granulometry, temperature, depth, etc. were assessed through General Additive Models in order to search for environmental effects on functional processes. Fishing effort and sediment had significant effects on most organism types (Fig. 1), and these effects were slightly different for abundance and for biomass estimates, highlighting the importance of the chosen metric in assessing function performance and ultimately the delivery of ecosystem services
DescriptionICES Symposium Effects of fishing on benthic fauna, habitat and ecosystem function, 16-19 june, 2014, Tromsø, Norway.-- 1 page, 1 figure
Publisher version (URL)http://www.ices.dk/news-and-events/symposia/Effects/Pages/Main-programme.aspx
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/117273
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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