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Ciencias marinas

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3880


LIGAS, A et al. Effects of chronic trawling disturbance on the secondary production of suprabenthic and infaunal crustacean communities in the Adriatic Sea (NW Mediterranean). Cienc. mar [online]. 2009, vol.35, n.2, pp.195-207. ISSN 0185-3880.

Towing gears are known to produce several kinds of effects on benthic ecosystems. As small organisms and benthic species with faster growth rates and shorter life histories can withstand the fishing mortality and benefit from reduced competition or predation, trawl fishing can enhance their proliferation. Thus, trawl fishing can lead to biomass loss and production increase, since smaller specimens are more productive than bigger ones. In the present study we evaluate the effects, if any, of trawling on benthic crustacean macrofaunal production rates. Sampling was carried out in two neighbouring sites in the central Adriatic Sea (central Mediterranean), one affected by fishing activity and one not. Production and production/biomass (P/B) ratio of 13 species of peracarid and eucarid crustaceans were estimated using the Hynes size-frequency method. Estimates measured at both sites were compared in order to test the hypothesis that higher production and P/B values should occur in the fished area rather than in the unfished one. Our results indicated that the effects on the species are more complex than expected in regard to this hypothesis, and that they depend on the ecological and behavioural characteristics of the selected species.

Palabras clave : benthic boundary layer; benthos; Mediterranean Sea; secondary production; trawling.

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