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Ecological restoration of deep coral gardens on the Mediterranean continental shelf

AuthorsGori, Andrea ; Montseny, Maria; Olariaga, Alejandro ; Ambroso, Stefano ; Grinyó, Jordi ; Santín, Andreu ; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos ; Gili, Josep Maria
Issue DateJun-2016
CitationAbstract book : 13th International Coral Reef Symposium: 126 (2016)
AbstractBottom trawling and trammel net fishing are currently causing the removal or damage of deep-water corals and gorgonians allover the world. Fragmentation and reduction of population density of these structural benthic species is one of the major threats for their viability, and may results in a drastic change in the ecological structural and functional role they play. In this presentation, we show a combination of (1) experimental work under controlled conditions and (2) field research used to perform and evaluate the effectiveness of the first ecological restoration targeted to recover deep gorgonian assemblages on the Mediterranean continental shelf. Laboratory experiments showed that a reduction in gorgonian population density significantly affects their capability to capture food and provide suitable conditions for the aggregation of zooplankton and fish larvae. These results demonstrate how fishing impacts not only affect the gorgonians directly removed or damaged, but also impacts the viability of the remaining populations and their ecological role. Based on experimental results, gorgonians entangled in nets were collected from fishermen, and transplanted at high density on artificial structures, which were deployed on the continental shelf in the north of Cap de Creus (Spain) at 85 m depth. Survival of transplanted gorgonians was monitored during one year by means of a remotely operated vehicle. Zooplankton and sediment samples were also collected to follow the recovering of the biodiversity and biomass of the associated fauna
DescriptionGori, Andrea ... et al.-- 13th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), 19-24 June 2016, Honolulu, Hawaii.-- 1 page
Publisher version (URL)http://coralreefs.org/conferences-and-workshops/proceedings-of-icrs13-2016/
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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