Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 355235
Title Cumulative impacts of seabed trawl disturbance on benthic biomass, production, and species richness in different habitats
Author(s) Hiddink, J.G.; Jennings, S.; Kaiser, M.J.; Queiros, A.M.; Duplisea, D.E.; Piet, G.J.
Source Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63 (2006)4. - ISSN 0706-652X - p. 721 - 736.
Department(s) Wageningen Marine Research
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2006
Keyword(s) soft-sediment communities - mobile fishing gear - southern north-sea - ecosystem function - coral-reefs - macrofauna - shelf - size - bioturbators - assemblages
Abstract Bottom trawling causes widespread disturbance of sediments in shelf seas and can have a negative impact on benthic fauna. We conducted a large-scale assessment of bottom trawl fishing of benthic fauna in different habitats, using a theoretical, size-based model that included habitat features. Species richness was estimated based on a generalized body mass versus species richness relationship. The model was validated by sampling 33 stations subject to a range of trawling intensities in four shallow, soft sediment areas in the North Sea. Both the model and the field data demonstrated that trawling reduced biomass, production, and species richness. The impacts of trawling were greatest in areas with low levels of natural disturbance, while the impact of trawling was small in areas with high rates of natural disturbance. For the North Sea, the model showed that the bottom trawl fleet reduced benthic biomass and production by 56% and 21%, respectively, compared with an unfished situation. Because of the many simplifications and assumptions required to synthesize these data, additional work is required to refine the model and evaluate applicability in other geographic areas. Our model enables managers to understand the consequences of altering the distribution of fishing activities on benthic production and hence on food web processes.
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