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High kelp density attracts fishes except for recruiting cryptobenthic species


Shelamoff, V and Layton, C and Tatsumi, M and Cameron, MJ and Wright, JT and Edgar, GJ and Johnson, CR, High kelp density attracts fishes except for recruiting cryptobenthic species, Marine Environmental Research, 161 Article 105127. ISSN 0141-1136 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2020.105127


As foundation species, kelp support productive and species rich communities; however, the effects of kelp structure on mobile species within these complex natural systems are often difficult to assess. We used artificial reefs with transplanted kelp to quantify the influence of kelp patch size and density on fish assemblages including the arrival of recruiting cryptobenthic species. Large patches with dense kelp supported the highest abundance, species richness, and diversity of fishes, with the addition of dense kelp tripling biomass and doubling richness. The abundance of recruits in artificial collectors declined with patch size and was halved on reefs with sparse kelp compared to reefs with dense kelp or no kelp. These results highlight the importance of dense kelp cover in facilitating biodiversity and indicate that kelp addition could support the recovery of degraded coastal ecosystems. Kelp also apparently drives complex interactions affecting the recruitment/behaviour of some cryptobenthic species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:artificial reef, habitat degradation, macroalgae, patch dynamics, eco-engineering, fragmentation, habitat matrix, structural complexity, restoration
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Shelamoff, V (Mr Victor Shelamoff)
UTAS Author:Layton, C (Dr Cayne Layton)
UTAS Author:Tatsumi, M (Mr Masayuki Tatsumi)
UTAS Author:Cameron, MJ (Mr Matthew Cameron)
UTAS Author:Wright, JT (Associate Professor Jeffrey Wright)
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CR (Professor Craig Johnson)
ID Code:143170
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP130101113)
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-03-03
Last Modified:2021-04-19

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