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Impact of salt-marsh management on fish nursery function in the bay of Aiguillon (French Atlantic coast), with a focus on European sea bass diet

Abstract : The Bay of Aiguillon is a national French Nature Reserve of great importance for birds. Recently, the managers of the Reserve (ONCFS-LPO) paid attention to the influence of saltmarshes management on the nursery function for fish feeding in creeks at high tide. A study carried out from March to July 2012 aimed to evaluate the use of saltmarshes by fish juvenile fraction according to the mowing intensity in salt marshes surrounding creeks: ceased, irregular or annual mowing. This community approach was completed by a focus on the European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax individual diet, vacuity index and growth, and the biomass of a main potential prey (the amphipod Orchestia gammarella). Whatever the mowing intensity, the juvenile fraction was very high for the main species, which were the grey mullet Liza ramada, the European sea bass, undetermined clupeid and the European flounder Platichthys flesus. Adult and subadult for these species were anecdotic or totally absent. Despite very different biomasses of amphipods between mown and natural sites, vacuity index, prey composition and their relative abundance in the diet of European sea bass juveniles were little different, contrary to their hypothetical growth (i.e. when assuming site fidelity), which appeared higher in non-mown site. The low distance between sampling sites could allow fish exchange over time between optimal and suboptimal creeks to feed on, as a hypothesis to explain such results. Because mowing was subsidized by European Union (EU) to favour open habitats for geese and maintain an economic activity, indirect impacts on nursery for fish called into question the appropriateness of such agro-environmental measure on natural habitats, and related fish nursery function.
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01585823
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:03:13 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 11:24:11 AM

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Emmanuel Joyeux, Alexandre Carpentier, Frederic Corre, Sylvain Haie, Julien Pétillon. Impact of salt-marsh management on fish nursery function in the bay of Aiguillon (French Atlantic coast), with a focus on European sea bass diet. Journal of Coastal Conservation, Springer Verlag, 2017, 21 (3), pp.435--444. ⟨10.1007/s11852-017-0501-0⟩. ⟨hal-01585823⟩

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