05 Mar 2012:
Protected Mediterranean Reefs
Show a Large Gain in Biomass and Diversity
A study of rocky reefs in the Mediterranean Sea shows that those accorded the highest protection, with all fishing prohibited, not only had a greater abundance and diversity of fish, but also demonstrated robust ecosystem health
all the way down to the level of marine algae. Enric Sala, a National Geographic
explorer-in-residence and marine ecologist at the Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes in Spain, led a study of rocky reefs in numerous regions of the Mediterranean. The study found “remarkable variation in the structure of rocky reef ecosystems,” with a three-decade-old protected area off of Catalonia in Spain showing large numbers of predatory and other fish, while unprotected reefs off the Greek and Turkish coasts were “bare.” The study
, published in the journal PLoS ONE
, found that that there was not a significant difference in ecological health between reefs that were partially protected, allowing some fishing and other activities, and those that had no protection at all. The conclusion, said Sala, is that to fully protect reefs and nurture biodiversity on them, “no take” fishing zones must be established and strictly enforced.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.