Nekton communities in transitional ecosystems are naturally adapted to stressful conditions associated with high environmental variability. Human activities in these systems are likely to determine additional stress with a possible effect on fish fauna, hence on fisheries. In order to test the relative importance of natural and anthropogenic factors in determining changes in nekton community, catches (incl. bycatch) from artisanal fisheries (fyke nets) were monitored seasonally in different areas of the Venice lagoon (Italy) between 2001 and 2013. Changes in nekton community composition and in the biomass of target and non-target species/groups were analysed, and the results were related to temporal factors, environmental characteristics and to the variability in anthropogenic pressures. Statistical tests were carried out using a model-based analysis of both univariate and multivariate data. Results highlighted that temporal factors and environmental conditions (i.e. the main chemico-physical descriptors) are more relevant than anthropogenic pressures in explaining spatial and temporal changes in the lagoon nekton assemblage, but that several characteristics of the assemblage, in particular the biomass of some particular categories and of the whole assemblage, are sensitive to human impacts. A particularly negligible effect seemed to be associated with fishing effort, thus suggesting that the monitoring of the local artisanal fishery is suitable also to provide useful information on the evaluation of the status of nekton assemblage.

Can the Effects of Anthropogenic Pressures and Environmental Variability on Nekton Fauna Be Detected in Fishery Data? Insights from the Monitoring of the Artisanal Fishery Within the Venice Lagoon

ZUCCHETTA, MATTEO
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Scapin, Luca
Writing – Review & Editing
;
CAVRARO, Francesco
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
PRANOVI, Fabio
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
FRANZOI, Piero
Writing – Review & Editing
2016

Abstract

Nekton communities in transitional ecosystems are naturally adapted to stressful conditions associated with high environmental variability. Human activities in these systems are likely to determine additional stress with a possible effect on fish fauna, hence on fisheries. In order to test the relative importance of natural and anthropogenic factors in determining changes in nekton community, catches (incl. bycatch) from artisanal fisheries (fyke nets) were monitored seasonally in different areas of the Venice lagoon (Italy) between 2001 and 2013. Changes in nekton community composition and in the biomass of target and non-target species/groups were analysed, and the results were related to temporal factors, environmental characteristics and to the variability in anthropogenic pressures. Statistical tests were carried out using a model-based analysis of both univariate and multivariate data. Results highlighted that temporal factors and environmental conditions (i.e. the main chemico-physical descriptors) are more relevant than anthropogenic pressures in explaining spatial and temporal changes in the lagoon nekton assemblage, but that several characteristics of the assemblage, in particular the biomass of some particular categories and of the whole assemblage, are sensitive to human impacts. A particularly negligible effect seemed to be associated with fishing effort, thus suggesting that the monitoring of the local artisanal fishery is suitable also to provide useful information on the evaluation of the status of nekton assemblage.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3671276
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