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FOOD WEB MODELING TO ASSESS INTERACTIONS BETWEEN ARTIFICIAL REEFS AND NATURAL REEFS

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Date Issued:
2021
Abstract/Description:
The effect of artificial reefs on natural reefs is poorly understood. This study focused on Aquarius Reef Base (ARB), an underwater habitat offshore of Key Largo, Florida, and 14 natural reef sites spanning 4 habitats, on the surrounding Conch Reef. Food web models were created for ARB and natural reef habitats. Biomass at each habitat was quantified by fish surveys. Using Ecopath, species were organized into functional groups with supporting data from previous research for other inputs. ARB’s food web was found to have a large predator biomass with insufficient prey biomass to sustain the population, suggesting that these predators must forage on nearby natural reefs where the predator/prey ratio is smaller. Between 0.57km2 and 1.79km2 of natural reef is estimated to be a sufficient spatial subsidy for the large predatory biomass at ARB when the biomass is added as determined by the seascape around the artificial reef.
Title: FOOD WEB MODELING TO ASSESS INTERACTIONS BETWEEN ARTIFICIAL REEFS AND NATURAL REEFS.
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Name(s): McNamee, Elizabeth A., author
Hughes, Colin, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Department of Environmental Sciences
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2021
Date Issued: 2021
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 80 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The effect of artificial reefs on natural reefs is poorly understood. This study focused on Aquarius Reef Base (ARB), an underwater habitat offshore of Key Largo, Florida, and 14 natural reef sites spanning 4 habitats, on the surrounding Conch Reef. Food web models were created for ARB and natural reef habitats. Biomass at each habitat was quantified by fish surveys. Using Ecopath, species were organized into functional groups with supporting data from previous research for other inputs. ARB’s food web was found to have a large predator biomass with insufficient prey biomass to sustain the population, suggesting that these predators must forage on nearby natural reefs where the predator/prey ratio is smaller. Between 0.57km2 and 1.79km2 of natural reef is estimated to be a sufficient spatial subsidy for the large predatory biomass at ARB when the biomass is added as determined by the seascape around the artificial reef.
Identifier: FA00013798 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.S.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2021.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Artificial reefs
Coral reefs
Food chains (Ecology)
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00013798
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.