Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

4-24-2020

Journal

PLoS One

Volume

15

Issue

4

First Page

e0231668

Abstract

Artificial reefs act as high-rugosity habitats and are often deployed to enhance fishing; however, the effects of man-made features on fish communities can be unpredictable and are poorly understood in deeper waters. In this study, we used a submersible to describe a deep-water artificial reef complex (93-245 m) off of Ewa Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA, and evaluated possible conservation and/or fisheries-related contributions. Sixty-eight species were recorded, with larger features supporting greater diversity of species. Species composition changed strongly with depth and a faunal break was detected from 113-137 m. While the features supported diverse fish communities, they were not similar to those on natural substrates, and were numerically dominated by only two species, Lutjanis kasmira and Chromis verater. Depth-generalist and endemic species were present at levels comparable to natural substrates, but were less abundant and species-rich than at biogenic Leptoseris reefs at similar depths. While the non-native L. kasmira was highly abundant, its presence and abundance were not associated with discernable changes in the fish community, and was not present deeper than 120 m. Finally, five species of commercially- and recreationally-important 'Deep 7' fisheries species were also observed, but the artificial reef complex was mostly too shallow to provide meaningful benefits.

DOI

DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0231668

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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