Inter-Research > MEPS > v389 > Feature  
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp
MEPS - Vol. 389 - Feature article
Bleeker’s parrotfish Chlorurus bleekeri, a dominant herbivore in Philippine marine reserves. Photo: B. Stockwell

Stockwell B, Jadloc CRL, Abesamis RA, Alcala AC, Russ GR


Trophic and benthic responses to no-take marine reserve protection in the Philippines


No-take marine reserves have the potential to prevent dominance of algae on coral reefs through the recovery of harvested populations of herbivorous fish. Using data from 15 reserves of varying ages and from fished sites in the Philippines, Stockwell and colleagues inferred a 15-fold increase in biomass of herbivorous fish, which coincided with a 13-fold decrease in macroalgal cover inside reserves after 11 years of protection. Rapid recovery of parrotfishes was the suspected primary cause for the decline in macroalgae. However, there was little difference in coral cover among reserves of different age. Even in fished sites, coral cover was much higher than macrolgal cover. Thus, there was no evidence that fishing of herbivores has led to 'benthic phase shifts'.


Inter-Research Science Publisher is pleased to make this Feature Article openly available for viewing by our readers.


Abstract   Back to contents page   Link to full PDF