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A systematic review of methods used to study fish in saltmarsh flats


Harrison-Day, V and Prahalad, V and Kirkpatrick, JB and McHenry, M, A systematic review of methods used to study fish in saltmarsh flats, Marine and Freshwater Research, 72, (2) pp. 149-162. ISSN 1323-1650 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 CSIRO. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1071/MF20069


There is a growing body of research highlighting the importance of saltmarshes as habitats for fish for feeding, refuge from predation and reproduction. However, more work is needed on fish on vegetated marsh flats (or surfaces). We reviewed 60 studies that used 21 methods to sample fish assemblages on saltmarsh flats. Drop samplers, fyke nets and pop nets were most frequently employed, with considerably more studies being conducted in graminoid than succulent marsh. Reporting of sampling temporal and tidal details, environmental variables and fish attributes was inconsistent. Most of the papers focussed on one or more of conservation management, comparisons among habitat types, and the use of saltmarsh (including fish activity type or residency status). Important potential areas of research include the relationships between the fish assemblages of saltmarsh flats and coastal fisheries, the effects of invasive plant species and marsh restoration efforts in areas outside the United States, and the potential effects of sea-level rise on vegetated flats as fish habitat. Sampling methods that provide density measures are likely to be most useful for most of this research. Thus, drop samplers and pop nets are an appropriate choice, the former in graminoid saltmarshes and the latter in succulent saltmarshes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:estuary, fish community, research design, Sarcocornia, Spartina, tidal marsh
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Harrison-Day, V (Ms Violet Harrison-Day)
UTAS Author:Prahalad, V (Dr Vishnu Prahalad)
UTAS Author:Kirkpatrick, JB (Professor James Kirkpatrick)
UTAS Author:McHenry, M (Dr Melinda McHenry)
ID Code:139524
Year Published:2021 (online first 2020)
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2020-06-18
Last Modified:2022-07-07
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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