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Red algal beds increase the condition of nekto-benthic fish
Ordines, F.; Bauzá, M.; Sbert, M.; Roca, P.; Gianotti, M.; Massutí, E. (2015). Red algal beds increase the condition of nekto-benthic fish. J. Sea Res. 95: 115-123. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.seares.2014.08.002
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101; e-ISSN 1873-1414, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    High Quality HabitatsBenthic CommunitiesNekto-Benthic FishFish ConditionBiochemical Condition IndexesWeight at Length Condition Measurements

Authors  Top 
  • Ordines, F.
  • Bauzá, M.
  • Sbert, M.
  • Roca, P.
  • Gianotti, M.
  • Massutí, E.

Abstract
    The present study analysed the effect of three different benthic habitats, the maërl, Peyssonnelia red algal beds and sandy bottoms, on the condition of two nekto-benthic fish species: Serranus cabrilla and Trigloporus lastoviza.Sampling was conducted during the MEDITS 2010 and 2011 surveys around the Balearic Islands. The condition of the spawning females of both species was determined by using i) biochemical measurements of proteins and lipids in the muscle, liver and gonads, and ii) weight at length relationships based on eviscerated, liver, and gonad weights. Moreover, based on the total weight at length relationship, the mean somatic condition (SC) of the sexually inactive individuals of S. cabrilla and males of T. lastoviza was calculated. Lipid reserves were higher in the livers of S. cabrilla and T. lastoviza from the maërl beds. Additionally, S. cabrilla showed higher lipid reserves in the gonads both in the maërl and Peyssonnelia beds. The mean weights of the liver and gonads at a given individual length revealed the same pattern as the lipids, whereas the mean eviscerated weight was higher in the maërl beds but only for S. cabrilla. A positive correlation was detected between the SC and the biomass of the algal species characterizing the maërl beds for both S. cabrilla and T. lastoviza.The high habitat quality of the red algal beds off the Balearic Islands increased the condition of nekto-benthic fish. In oligotrophic areas, such as the archipelago, these “oases” could help fish to maintain healthy populations.

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