OJE  Vol.4 No.16 , December 2014
Restoration of a Temperate Reef: Effects on the Fish Community

The extraction of large boulders from coastal reefs for construction of harbours and coastal protection has led to habitat degradation for local fish populations through the destruction of cavernous reefs and changes in macroalgal cover resulting from a loss of substrate. The temperate reef at L?s? Trindel in Kattegat, Denmark, has now been re-established with the aim of restoring the reef’s historical structure and function. The effects of the restoration on the local fish community are reported here. Fishing surveys using gillnets and fyke nets were conducted before the restoration (2007) and four years after the restoration of the reef (2012). Species of the family Labridae, which have a high affinity for rocky reefs, dominated both before and after the restoration. Commercially important species such as cod Gadus morhua, and saithe Pollachius virens, occurred infrequently in the catches in 2007 but were significantly more abundant in the catches in 2012. Cods were especially attracted to the shallow part of the reef that was restored by adding stones. For some species, such as ballan wrasse Labrus bergylta, and cod, the proportion of larger individuals increased after the restoration. The findings highlight the importance of reef habitats for fish communities and the need for their protection.

Cite this paper: Støttrup, J. , Stenberg, C. , Dahl, K. , Kristensen, L. and Richardson, K. (2014) Restoration of a Temperate Reef: Effects on the Fish Community. Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 1045-1059. doi: 10.4236/oje.2014.416086.

[1]   Graham, M.H. (2004) Effects of Local Deforestation on the Diversity and Structure of Southern California Giant Kelp Forest Food Webs. Ecosystems, 7, 341-357.

[2]   Christie, H., Jorgensen, N.M. and Norderhaug, K.M. (2007) Bushy or Smooth, High or Low; Importance of Habitat Architecture and Vertical Position for Distribution of Fauna on Kelp. Journal of Sea Research, 58, 198-208.

[3]   Hunter, W.R. and Sayer, M.D.J. (2009) The Comparative Effects of Habitat Complexity on Faunal Assemblages of Northern Temperate Artificial and Natural Reefs. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 66, 691-698.

[4]   ICES (2007) Report of the International Bottom Trawl Survey Working Group (IBTSWG). ICES CM 2007/RMC, 05:195 pp.

[5]   Stal, J., Pihl, L. and Wennhage, H. (2007) Food Utilization by Coastal Fish Assemblages in Rocky and Soft Bottoms on the Swedish West Coast: Inference for Identification of Essential Fish Habitats. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 71, 593-607.

[6]   Pérez-Matus, A. and Shima, J.S. (2010) Disentangling the Effects of Macroalgae on the Abundance of Temperate Reef Fishes. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 388, 1-10.

[7]   Wieland, K., Pedersen, E.M.F., Olesen, H.J. and Beyer, J.E. (2009) Effect of Bottom Type on Catch Rates of North Sea Cod (Gadus morhua) in Surveys with Commercial Fishing Vessels. Fisheries Research, 96, 244-251.

[8]   Dahl, K., Lundsteen, S. and Helmig, S. (2003) Stenrev, Havbundens Oaser. Gads Forlag, Copenhagen, Denmark. (In Danish)

[9]   Carr, M.H. (1994) Effects of Macroalgal Dynamics on Recruitment of a Temperate Reef Fish. Ecology, 75, 1320-1333.

[10]   Stenberg, C., Stottrup, J.G., Dahl, K., Lundsteen, S., Goke, C. and Andersen, O.N. (2013) Ecological Benefits from Restoring a Marine Cavernous Boulder Reef in Kattegat, Denmark. Final Report to the European Commission Regarding LIFE06 NAT/DK000159 Blue Reef, 47.

[11]   Dahl, K., Stenberg, C., Lundsteen, S., Stottrup, J., Dolmer, P. and Tendal, O.S. (2009) Ecology of LsTrindel—A Reef Impacted by Extraction of Boulders. National Environmental Research Institute, Technical Report No. 757.

[12]   Almada, V.C., Henriques, M. and Gonalves, E.J. (1999) Ecology and Behaviour of Reef Fishes in the Temperate North-Eastern Atlantic and Adjacent Waters. In: Almada, V.C., Oliveira, R.F. and Gonalves, E.J., Eds., Behaviour and Conservation of Littoral Fishes, ISPA, Lisbon, 33-68.

[13]   Wennhage, H. and Pihl, L. (2002) Fish Feeding Guilds in Shallow Rocky and Soft Bottom Areas on the Swedish West Coast. Journal of Fish Biology, 61, 207-228.

[14]   Swales, S. (1994) Habitat Restoration Methods—A Synthesis. In: Cowx, I.G., Ed., Rehabilitation of Freshwater Fisheries, Fishing News Books, Oxford, 133-137.

[15]   Rinkevich, B. (2014) Rebuilding Coral Reefs: Does Active Reef Restoration Lead to Sustainable Reefs? Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 7, 28-36.

[16]   Chapman, M.G. (1999) Improving Sampling Designs for Measuring Restoration in Aquatic Habitats. Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery, 6, 235-251.

[17]   Barbier, E. (2006) Natural Barriers to Natural Disasters: Replanting Mangroves after the Tsunami. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 4, 124-131.[0124:NBTNDR]2.0.CO;2

[18]   Kennedy, V.S., Breitburg, D.L., Christman, M.C., Luckenbach, M.W., Paynter, K., Kramer, J., Sellner, K.G., Dew- Baxter, J., Keller, C. and Mann, R. (2011) Lessons Learned from Efforts to Restore Oyster Populations in Maryland and Virginia, 1990 to 2007. Journal of Shellfish Research, 30, 719-731.

[19]   Anonymous (2013) Post Bathymetry and Stability of Reef Structures. Technical Final Report LIFE06 NAT/DK/ 000159-Blue Reef, Annex 15, 5.

[20]   Eigaard, O.R., Stottrup, J.G. and Hovgard, H. (2000) Udvikling af standard garnserie til brug ved rutinemassig bestandsanalyse af flad-og rundfisk i marine lavvandede omrder. DFU-Report nr. 78-00. (In Danish)

[21]   ICES (2012) Report of the Baltic Fisheries Assessment Working Group 2012 (WGBFAS). ICES CM. 2012/ACOM: 10, 12-19 April 2012, ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen, 859 p.

[22]   Jones, G.P. (1988) Ecology of Rocky Reef Fish of North-Eastern New Zealand: A Review. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 22, 445-462.

[23]   Gratwicke, B. and Speight, M.R. (2005) The Relationship between Fish Species Richness, Abundance and Habitat Complexity in a Range of Shallow Tropical Marine Habitats. Journal of Fish Biology, 66, 650-667.

[24]   Bryndum, K.M. (2013) Fish Species Composition in the Inner Danish Waters. An Analysis of the Fish Assemblage in Light of Changes in Sea Temperature. Master’s Thesis, Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen.

[25]   Sayer, M.D.J., Gibson, R.N. and Atkinson, R.J.A. (1993) Distribution and Density of Populations of Goldsinny Wrasse (Ctenolabrus rupestris) on the West Coast of Scotland. Journal of Fish Biology, 43, 157-167.

[26]   Gjosater, J. (2002) Distribution and Density of Goldsinny Wrasse (Ctenolabrus rupestris) (Labridae) in the Risor and Arendal Areas along the Norwegian Skagerrak Coast. Sarsia, 87, 75-82.

[27]   Norderhaug, K.M., Christie, H., Foss?, J.H. and Fredriksen, S. (2005) Fish-Macrofauna Interactions in a Kelp (Laminaria hyperborea) Forest. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 85, 1279-1286.

[28]   Costello, M.J. (1991) Review of the Biology of Wrasse (Labridae: Pisces) in Northern Europe. Progress in Underwater Science, 16, 29-51.

[29]   Villegas-Ríos, D., Alos, J. and March, D. (2013) Home Range and Diel Behavior of the Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta, Determined by Acoustic Telemetry. Journal of Sea Research, 80, 61-71.

[30]   Alonzo, S.H. and Mangel, M. (2004) The Effects of Size-Selective Fisheries on the Stock Dynamics of and Sperm Limitation in Sex-Changing Fish. Fisheries Bulletin, 102, 1-13.

[31]   Gotceitas, V., Fraser, S. and Brown, J.A. (1995) Habitat Use by Juvenile Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) in the Presence of an Actively Foraging and Nonforaging Predator. Marine Biology, 123, 421-430.

[32]   Lorentsen, S.H., Sjotun, K. and Grémillet, D. (2010) Multi-Trophic Consequences of Kelp Harvest. Biological Conservation, 143, 2054-2062.

[33]   Stal, J., Paulsen, S., Pihl, L., Ronnback, P., Soderqvist, T. and Wennhage, H. (2008) Coastal Habitat Support to Fish and Fisheries in Sweden: Integrating Ecosystem Functions into Fisheries Management. Ocean & Coastal Management, 51, 594-600.

[34]   Vinther, M. and Eero, M. (2013) Quantifying Relative Fishing Impact on Fish Populations Based on Spatio-Temporal Overlap of Fishing Effort and Stock Density. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 70, 618-627.

[35]   Meyers, R.A. and Cadigan, N.G. (1993) Density-Dependent Juvenile Mortality in Marine Demersal Fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 50, 1576-1590.

[36]   Gregory, R.S. and Anderson, J.T. (1997) Substrate Selection and Use of Protective Cover by Juvenile Atlantic Cod Gadus morhua in Inshore Waters of Newfoundland. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 146, 9-20.

[37]   Fraser, S., Gotceitas, V. and Brown, J.A. (1995) Interactions between Age-Classes of Atlantic Cod and Their Distribution among Bottom Substrates. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 53, 305-314.

[38]   Svedang, H., Stal, J., Sterner, T. and Cardinale, M. (2010) Subpopulation Structure in Cod (Gadus morhua) Puts Strain on the Management Toolbox. Reviews in Fisheries Science, 18, 139-150.

[39]   Wortley, L., Hero, J.M. and Howes, M. (2013) Evaluating Ecological Restoration Success: A Review of the Literature. Restoration Ecology, 21, 537-543.