Fish community responses to green tides in shallow estuarine and coastal areas - Institut Agro Rennes-Angers Access content directly
Journal Articles Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science Year : 2016

Fish community responses to green tides in shallow estuarine and coastal areas

Emilie Le Luherne
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Elodie Réveillac
A. Ponsero
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A. Sturbois
S. Ballu
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Olivier Le Pape


All over the world, numerous bays and estuarine systems that are known to shelter essential fish habitats are experiencing proliferations of green macroalgae known as green tides. Although the processes that enhance green tides in response to nutrient enrichment are well known, their consequences for ecological communities -especially for ichthyofauna- remain poorly studied. To estimate these consequences, this analysis focused on the two types of shallow systems that are experiencing green tides: sandy beaches and estuarine mudflats. In these two systems, macroalgae proliferation and fish community were surveyed along seasonal cycles at control and impacted sites that shared similar physicochemical parameters and sediment structure. To analyse the consequences of green tides on the fish community, a Before-After Control-Impact approach was used. This approach reveals no difference between fish communities at the control and impacted sites before the macroalgal bloom. Then, it underlines an influence of green tides on the fish community, and this influence varies according to the composition, density and duration of the macroalgal bloom. Indeed, when intertidal systems experienced short proliferation and/or weak density, green tides did not seem to impact the fish community. However, when green macroalgae proliferated in large quantities and/or when the proliferation lasted for long periods, the fish community was significantly affected. These modifications in the fish community led to a significant decrease in fish species diversity and density until fish disappeared from impacted sites at high proliferations. Furthermore, the response of fish species to green tides differed according to their functional guilds. Negative consequences for benthic and marine juvenile fish species were beginning at low proliferations, whereas for pelagic fish species they occurred only at high proliferations. Thus, green tides significantly affect fish habitat suitability because they lead to changes in the composition of the fish community and eventually to the local disappearance of fish at high proliferations. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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hal-01558431 , version 1 (07-07-2017)



Emilie Le Luherne, Elodie Réveillac, A. Ponsero, A. Sturbois, S. Ballu, et al.. Fish community responses to green tides in shallow estuarine and coastal areas. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2016, 175, pp.79-92. ⟨10.1016/j.ecss.2016.03.031⟩. ⟨hal-01558431⟩
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