|Title||Functional traits unravel temporal changes in fish biomass production on artificial reefs|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2019|
|Authors||Cresson, P, Le Direach, L, Rouanet, E, Goberville, E, Astruch, P, Ourgaud, M, Harmelin-Vivien, M|
|Journal||Marine Environmental Research|
|Keywords||Artificial reefs, Fish biomass production, Isotopic functional indices, Mediterranean sea|
Artificial reefs (ARs) are deployed worldwide as they are expected to support fisheries management. While the underlying mechanisms remain widely debated, production was recently determined as the most probable cause of increases in fish biomass. Changes in fish biomass in a temperate AR system were investigated from December 2008 to November 2015 by considering seven distinct functional groups, and isotopic functional indices were used to identify how these changes may have affected organic matter (OM) fluxes. Contrasting patterns of change were observed between functional trophic groups, highlighting that combining the biomass of all species present in a community is inappropriate for assessing AR-induced effects. Benthic sedentary species predominated (>75% of the total biomass) through massive production, with a 68-fold increase in mean biomass over the study period. Mobile species tended to vary seasonally, suggesting only a slight influence of AR. Zooplanktivores biomass decreased over the 6-year period, as a possible result of changes in environmental conditions. Isotopic indices helped to reveal both the community maturation and the importance of local OM sources not only in supporting fish biomass production but also in attracting pelagic species. Our results corroborate that production and attraction are two extremes of a range of contrasting patterns and highlight the importance of considering the specific responses of functional components of fish communities to accurately describe changes in AR functioning. Functional attributes such as trophic traits, habitat use and dispersal abilities must not be overlooked as they modulate fish species responses to the deployment of man-made rocky substrates.