|Meiofaunal community structure in Thermaikos Gulf: Response to intense trawling pressure|
Lampadariou, N.; Hatziyanni, E.; Tselepides, A. (2005). Meiofaunal community structure in Thermaikos Gulf: Response to intense trawling pressure. Cont. Shelf Res. 25: 2554-2569
In: Continental Shelf Research. Pergamon Press: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0278-4343, more
Ecosystem disturbance; Meiobenthos; Marine
Among the most important impacts of trawling is the disturbance of the benthic environment as well as the mortality of the larger benthic organisms, which is caused by the passage of the fishing gear. Meiofauna, which areamong the smallest benthic organisms, may be more resistant to disturbance by trawling since they are likely to be re-suspended rather than killed by trawls. Their short generation times allow populations to withstand elevated mortality. In this study, we determined the effect of trawling disturbance, season and sediment type on the structure of meiofaunal communities in a commercial fishing ground in Thermaikos Gulf, north Aegean Sea, Greece. The trawling season is limited to 8 months between October and May. A grid of five nearshore stations was chosen along a north-south productivity gradient and an additional offshore station was included as a reference point. Sediment chemistry and meiofaunal community structure were studied before the trawling season started, as well as I and 4 months after the initiation of the fishing period. Results showed that there were no short term (30 days) trawling impacts on meiofauna in terms of abundance and community structure but that there were recognizable effects on the community structure of nematodes and the abundance of polychaetes. In contrast, most meiofaunal taxa displayed significant seasonal variability, 4 months after the initiation of the fishing period; however, other closely related tractors such as temperature. sediment particle size and primary productivity are more likely to be responsible for the observed patterns.
- Thermaikos Gulf: impact of trawling and re-suspension on meiobenthos, more