Mangrove loss leads to fish hyperutilization of seagrass beds in a UNESCO biosphere reserve

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Abstract

Hurricanes severely damaged a mangrove forest in a UNESCO biosphere reserve in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The system has yet to recover and when alternative habitats have been destroyed, it is shown that juvenile fishes will hyperutilize seagrass beds at densities significantly greater than in areas that maintain functioning mangroves. Despite over a decade of recovery time, the affected mangrove system remains inhospitable to juvenile fishes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1620-1625
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume84
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • Disturbance
  • Rhizophora mangle
  • Thalassia testudinum

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