Trawl fisheries have direct impacts on seabed habitats and fauna that are likely to alter ecosystem function over time. We used towed cameras and corers to study changes in benthic community composition across gradients of cumulative trawling pressure in two areas on Chatham Rise. We found that trawling accounted for up to 17 % of variation in benthic epifaunal communities. Our results indicate that trawling modifies the structure and functional composition of epifaunal communities, with reduction in the density of sensitive taxa and overall evenness and diversity.
AEBR 183 - Ocean Survey 20/20, Chatham Rise Benthos: effects of seabed trawling on benthic communities
Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)
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