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Do recreational activities affect coastal biodiversity?

Riera, Rodrigo
Menci, CristianoSanabria Fernández, José AntonioBecerro, Mikel. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 178 : 129-136 (2016) DIGITAL.CSIC

Human activities are largely affecting coastal communities worldwide. Recreational perturbations have been overlooked in comparison to other perturbations, yet they are potential threats to marine biodiversity. They affect coastal communities in different ways, underpinning consistent shifts in fish and invertebrates assemblages. Several sites were sampled subjected to varying effects by recreational fishermen (low and high pressure) and scuba divers (low and high) in an overpopulated Atlantic island. Non-consistent differences in ecological, trophic and functional diversity were found in coastal communities, considering both factors (“diving” and “fishing”). Multivariate analyses only showed significant differences in benthic invertebrates between intensively-dived and non-dived sites. The lack of clear trends may be explained by the depletion of coastal resources in the study area, an extensively-affected island by overfishing.