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Historical marine ecology: examining the role of fisheries in changes in North Sea benthos
Robinson, L.A.; Frid, C.L.J. (2008). Historical marine ecology: examining the role of fisheries in changes in North Sea benthos. Ambio 37(5): 362-371. dx.doi.org/10.1579/07-A-300.1
In: Ambio. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: Oslo; Boston. ISSN 0044-7447, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Benthos; Benthos; Benthos; Commercial species; Conservation; Conservation; Conservation; Conservation; Data sets; Ecosystems; Ecosystems; Ecosystems; Ecosystems; Habitat; Human activity; Shellfish; Shellfish; Shellfish; Shellfish; Vulnerability; Vulnerability; A, Atlantic [Marine Regions]; ANE, North Sea [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Historical ecology; Marine ecosystem; Habitat conservation; Community dynamics

Authors  Top 
  • Robinson, L.A.
  • Frid, C.L.J., more

Abstract
    The organisms living on and in the sea floor, the benthos, represent an important ecological group. Although some (shellfish) have an economic value, most do not, and so little long-term data are available. We have identified three sources of historic benthic data for the North Sea, a regional sea that has been subjected to multiple human impacts for at least several hundred years. Each dataset has its limitations, but by their use together some issues emerge. Wider community shifts were observed in the shorter term and a number of extirpations at the scale of the North Sea were seen over longer time scales. The extirpated taxa share a number of characteristics consistent with an effect of fisheries such as fragile morphology. We must concentrate now on furthering our understanding of the ecological significance of shifts in dominance of particular functional units and protecting those habitats and species most vulnerable to fisheries-driven extirpation.

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