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Effects of chronic bottom trawling disturbance on benthic biomass, production and size spectra in different habitats
Queirós, A.M.; Hiddink, J.G.; Kaiser, M.J.; Hinz, H. (2006). Effects of chronic bottom trawling disturbance on benthic biomass, production and size spectra in different habitats. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 335: 91-103
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Benthos; Biomass; Bottom trawling; Fishing gear; Production; Secondary production; Size; ANE, Irish Sea [Marine Regions]; ANE, North Sea, Dogger Bank [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Bottom trawling; Infauna; Secondary production; Size spectrum

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Abstract
    Bottom trawling has widespread impacts on benthic communities and habitats. It is argued that the impact o f 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 o f 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 o f benthic communities in the muddy habitat, while no impact was identified on benthic communities from the sandy habitat. These differences are the result o f differences in size structure within the two communities that occur in response to increasing trawling disturbance.

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