Publication details.

Paper

Year:2019
Author(s):Alba. Medrano, Cristina. Linares, Eneko. Aspillaga, Pol. Capdevila, Ignasi. Montero-Serra, Marta. Pagès-Escolà, Bernat. Hereu
Title:No-take marine reserves control the recovery of sea urchin populations after mass mortality events
Journal:MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
ISSN:0141-1136
Volume:145
Issue No.:1
Pages:147-154
D.O.I.:10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.02.013
Web:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141113618307918
Abstract:Understanding how no-take zones (NTZs) shape the population dynamics of key herbivores is crucial for the conservation and management of temperate benthic communities. Here, we examine the recovery patterns of sea urchin populations following a high-intensity storm under contrasting protection regimes in the NW Mediterranean Sea. We found significant differences in the recovery trends of Paracentrotus lividus abundance and biomass in the five years following the storm. The P. lividus populations outside the NTZ recovered faster than the populations inside the NTZ, revealing that predation was the main factor controlling the sea urchin populations inside the NTZ during the study period. Arbacia lixula reached the highest abundance and biomass values ever observed outside the NTZ in 2016. Our findings reveal that predation can control the establishment of new sea urchin populations and emphasize top-down control in NTZs, confirming the important role of fully protected areas in the structure of benthic communities.

Related staff

  • Eneko Aspillaga Cuevas
  • Related departments

  • Marine Ecology
  • Related research groups

  • Marine Ecosystems Dynamics