Mangroves and other coastal ecosystems are important nurseries for recreational and commercial finfish and shellfish species. Yet almost half of the global coverage of mangrove has been lost due to humans. To sustain their important ecosystem services adequate management is needed. However, evaluation of their nursery role for management purposes is largely based on protecting single habitats which is largely ineffective.
Associate Professor Ivan Nagelkerken from the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute was one of four researchers involved in an article entitled ‘The seascape nursery: a novel spatial approach to identify and manage nurseries for coastal marine fauna,’ published in Fish & Fisheries.
The article explores a new approach for more effective identification, valuation and management of nurseries based on a habitat mosaic approach. This also incorporates the important linkages that exist between mangroves, seagrasses, salt marshes and other habitats via pervasive fish movements, which underpins their nursery function, fisheries productivity as well as biodiversity.
Mangrove inhabitants image: flickr.com