Effects of chronic bottom trawling disturbance on benthic biomass, production and size spectra in different habitats

A. M. Queirós, Jan G. Hiddink, M. J. Kaiser, Hilmar Hinz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bottom trawling has widespread impacts on benthic communities and habitats. It is argued that the impact of chronic bottom trawling on benthic infauna depends on the natural disturbance levels to which benthic communities are adapted. We analysed biomass, production and size structure of two communities from a muddy and a sandy habitat, in relation to quantified gradients of trawling disturbance on real fishing grounds. We used an allometric relationship between body mass and individual production to biomass ratio to estimate community production. Chronic trawling had a negative impact on the biomass and production of benthic communities in the muddy habitat, while no impact was identified on benthic communities from the sandy habitat. These differences are the result of differences in size structure within the two communities that occur in response to increasing trawling disturbance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-103
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Volume335
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2006

Keywords

  • Bottom trawling
  • Infauna
  • Secondary production
  • Size spectrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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