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An analysis of fish community responses to coral mining in the Maldives

Dawson Shepherd, A.R., Warwick, R.M., Clarke, K.R. and Brown, B.E. (1992) An analysis of fish community responses to coral mining in the Maldives. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 33 (4). pp. 367-380.

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Coral mining takes place on shallow reef flats at a number of localities in the Maldives, but not on the adjacent deeper reef slopes. A semi-quantitative census method for fish species abundance and biomass is described. Fish community structure is compared on mined and non-mined reef flats and their adjacent slopes using a variety of univariate, graphical/distributional and multivariate statistical techniques. In general, univariate and graphical distributional methods do not indicate significant differences between mined and non-mined localities with respect to the relative abundances and biomasses of species. Multivariate methods (both classification and ordination), however, indicate very clear-cut effects of mining on the reef flats, and also significant effects on reef slopes adjacent to mined flats. The effect was equally clear using non-quantitative (presence/absence) data. The fish species mainly responsible for the differences between mined and non-mined localities are identified, and the differences are explained in terms of the feeding biology of these species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright: © 1992 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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