The relationships between fish assemblages and the amount of bottom horizontal beam exposed at California oil platforms: fish habitat preferences at man-made platforms and (by inference) at natural reefs

Love, Milton S. and Anne York, Anne York (2006) The relationships between fish assemblages and the amount of bottom horizontal beam exposed at California oil platforms: fish habitat preferences at man-made platforms and (by inference) at natural reefs. Fishery Bulletin, 104(4), pp. 542-549.

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Abstract

Between 1995 and 2002, we surveyed fish assemblages at seven oil platforms off southern and central California using the manned research submersible Delta. At each platform, there is a large horizontal beam situated at or near the sea floor. In some instances, shells and sediment have buried this beam and in other instances it is partially or completely exposed. We found that fish species responded in various ways to the amount of exposure of the beam. A few species, such as blackeye goby (Rhinogobiops nicholsii), greenstriped rockfish (Sebastes elongatus), and pink seaperch (Zalembius rosaceus) tended to avoid the beam. However, many species that typically associate with natural rocky outcrops, such as bocaccio (S. paucispinis), cowcod (S. levis), copper (S. caurinus), greenblotched (S. rosenblatti), pinkrose (S. simulator) and vermilion (S. miniatus) rockfishes, were found most often where the beam was exposed. In particular, a group of species (e.g., bocaccio, cowcod, blue (Sebastes mystinus), and vermilion rockfishes) called here the “sheltering habitat” guild, lived primarily where the beam was exposed and formed a crevice. This work demonstrates that the presence of sheltering sites is important in determining the species composition of man-made reefs and, likely, natural reefs. This research also indicates that adding structures that form sheltering sites in and around decommissioned platforms will likely lead to higher densities of many species typical of hard and complex structure.

Item Type: Article
Title: The relationships between fish assemblages and the amount of bottom horizontal beam exposed at California oil platforms: fish habitat preferences at man-made platforms and (by inference) at natural reefs
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Love, Milton S.
Anne York, Anne York
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Fishery Bulletin
Volume: 104
Number: 4
Page Range: pp. 542-549
Date: 2006
ISSN: 0090-0656
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 8947
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2012 19:30
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2012 19:30
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/8947

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