Ongoing monitoring of Tortugas Ecological Reserve: Assessing the consequences of reserve designation

Fonseca, Mark S. and Uhrin, Amy V. and Currin, Carolyn A. and Burke, John S. and Field, Donald W. and Addison, Christine M. and Wood, Lisa L. and Piniak, Gregory A. and Viehman, T. Shay and Bonn, Craig S. (2006) Ongoing monitoring of Tortugas Ecological Reserve: Assessing the consequences of reserve designation. Beaufort, NC, NOAA/National Ocean Service/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, (NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS, 22)

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Abstract

Over the past five years, a biogeographic characterization of Tortugas Ecological Reserve(TER) has been carried out to measure the post-implementation effects of TER as a refuge for exploited species. Our results demonstrate that there is substantial microalgal biomass at depths between 10 and 30 m in the soft sediments at the coral reef interface, and that this community may play an important role in the food web supporting reef organisms. In addition, preliminary stable isotope data, in conjunction with prior results from the west Florida shelf, suggest that the shallow water benthic habitats surrounding the coral reefs of TER will prove to be an important source of the primary production ultimately fueling fish production throughout TER. The majority of the fish analyzed so far have exhibited a C isotope signature consistent with a food web which relies heavily on benthic primary production. Fish counts indicate a marked increase in the abundance of large fish (>20 cm) within the Reserve relative to the Out and Park strata, across years. Faunal collections from open and protected soft bottom habitat near the northern boundary of Tortugas North strongly suggest that relaxation of trawling pressure has increased benthic biomass and diversity in this area of TER. These data, employing an integrated Before - After Control Impact (BACI) design at multiple spatial scales, will allow us to continue to document and quantify the post-implementation effects of TER. (PDF contains 58 pages)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Ongoing monitoring of Tortugas Ecological Reserve: Assessing the consequences of reserve designation
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Fonseca, Mark S.Mark.Fonseca@noaa.gov
Uhrin, Amy V.Amy.Uhrin@noaa.gov
Currin, Carolyn A.Carolyn.Currin@noaa.gov
Burke, John S.John.Burke@noaa.gov
Field, Donald W.Don.Field@noaa.gov
Addison, Christine M.Christine.Addison@noaa.gov
Wood, Lisa L.Lisa.Wood@noaa.gov
Piniak, Gregory A.Greg.Piniak@noaa.gov
Viehman, T. ShayShay.Viehman@noaa.gov
Bonn, Craig S.
Series Name: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS
Number: 22
Date: 2006
Publisher: NOAA/National Ocean Service/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
Place of Publication: Beaufort, NC
Issuing Agency: United States National Ocean Service
Subjects: Ecology
Management
Fisheries
Item ID: 2125
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 26 May 2009 22:43
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2014 20:25
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/2125

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