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Trophic flows in the marine ecosystem of an artificial reef zone in the Yellow Sea China

Wu, Z., Zhang, X., Lozano-Montes, H.M., Loneragan, N.R. and Fan, J. (2015) Trophic flows in the marine ecosystem of an artificial reef zone in the Yellow Sea China. In: PICES 2015 Annual Meeting:Change and Sustainability of the North Pacific, 14 - 25 October, Qingdao, China.

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This study represents the first attempt to evaluate the ecosystem structure and functioning of the nearshore reefs in the Lidao coastal ecosystem of northern China. This region is one where intensive aquaculture (particularly kelp culture) and fisheries enhancements, through the deployment of artificial reefs and stock enhancement programs are practiced. An Ecopath model was developed for a small area in the region and Ecosim was used to explore one scenario for alternative fishing practices. The mean trophic levels (TL) of the functional groups ranged from 1.0 to 4.1. The mean transfer efficiency was 11.7% through the whole system, and the ecosystem had a relative low maturity, stability and disturbance resistance, remaining at a developing stage. Nearly half of the total system biomass (48.9%) in the system, excluding detritus, (620.20 t km-2 year-1), was comprised of benthic finfish and invertebrates. The total fishery yield from all fisheries (86.82t/km2/year) was dominated by low TL herbivorous and detritivorous species such as the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicas (TL=2.1, 46.07%), other echinoderms (TL=2.1, 34.6%) (sea urchin Asterias amurensis; Strongylocentrotus nudus) and abalone Haliotis discus hannai (TL=2.0, 18.4%), and as a consequence the mean trophic level of the catch was low (2.1). The Ecosim simulation of closing all fisheries for 20 years (keeping the original state for first 3 years) in the current ecosystem resulted in an increase of about 100% in the relative biomass of the main exploited species, sea cucumber A. japonicas and abalone H. discus hannai.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
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