Artificial Reefs, the Attraction-production Issue, and Density Dependence in Marine Ornamental Fishes
- Cite this article as:
- Wilson, J., Osenberg, C.W., St. Mary, C.M. et al. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation (2001) 3: 95. doi:10.1023/A:1011343312031
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Artificial reefs may provide a useful tool to enhance production of marine ornamentals and to divert detrimental harvesting activities from sensitive natural habitat. The efficacy of this strategy depends, in part, on the extent to which artificial reefs contribute to new production (vs. attract fishes from natural habitat) and therefore benefit harvested populations on a local and regional basis. Here the attraction and production hypotheses and their application to marine ornamentals are presented. Specifically, it is discussed how the strength and timing of density dependence can affect the response of fish population dynamics to artificial reefs. In addition to this discussion, examples of density dependence in marine ornamentals and related reef fishes are provided. Based on this information, a simple conceptual model is presented to clarify the role of density dependence, and this is followed by a discussion on the use of artificial reefs in the management and production of marine ornamentals. Finally, unresolved scientific issues that remain to be addressed are provided.