Measuring Bahamian lionfish impacts to marine ecological services using habitat equivalency analysis
- 829 Downloads
Marine ecological services provide goods, amenities, food resources, and economic benefits to millions of people globally. The loss of these services, attributed to the infiltration of marine invasive species such as the Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles), is measurable. The highly successful lionfish now flourishes in great densities in the US Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic waters and the entire Caribbean, yet the loss of ecological services attributed to the invader has not yet been assessed. In this study, we employ a derivative of a well-utilized method of ecosystem valuation known as habitat equivalency analysis to measure the time-value-adjusted loss of biomass- and recruitment-related ecosystem services brought by lionfish to Bahamian reefs. Drawing upon the literature examples of tangible lionfish damages in the Bahamas, we (1) quantitatively evaluate the loss of ecosystem services instigated by lionfish by measuring the total service-year losses partitioned over yearly time steps, (2) provide a metric by which ocean managers may value the remunerations of Bahamian lionfish controls when weighed against removal costs, and (3) deliver a tool to quantify changes in ecosystem services as a consequence of invasive species impacts and control. We found that the invader imposed losses of 26.67 and 21.67 years to recruitment and biomass services per km2 of Bahamian reef if left uncontrolled. In the same accord, the most conservative Bahamian lionfish removal regime modeled, i.e., which produced a 50 % recovery of pre-lionfish ecosystem function over 10 years, provided service gains of 9.57 and 4.78 years per km2. These data deliver a platform upon which to quantify present and future fiscal costs of the lionfish invasion and also to value lionfish control efforts.
KeywordsEcosystem Service Reef Fish Patch Reef Recruitment Function Service Loss
We thank the National Coral Reef Institute for their support of this investigation. Funding for this study was provided by the Guy Harvey Research Institute. This is NCRI publication #177.
- Akins L, Lazarre D, Die D, Morris J (2012) Lionfish Bycatch in The Florida Lobster Fishery: first Evidence of Occurrence and Impacts. Proc Gulf Caribb Fish Inst 65:329–330Google Scholar
- Cesar H, Burke L, Pet-Soede L (2003) The economics of worldwide coral reef degradation. Cesar Environmental Economics Consulting, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
- Morris JA Jr, Whitfield PE (2009) Biology, ecology, control and management of the invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish: an updated integrated assessment. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 99Google Scholar
- Jackson JBC, Donovan MK, Cramer KL, Lam VV (eds) (2014) Status and trends of caribbean coral reefs: 1970–2012. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. IUCN, GlandGoogle Scholar
- Kohler KE, RE Dodge (2006) Visual_HEA: habitat equivalency analysis software to calculate compensatory restoration following natural resource injury. In: Proceedings of the 10th international coral reef symposium. Okinawa, Japan, pp 1611–1616Google Scholar
- Milon JW, Dodge RE (2001) Applying habitat equivalency analysis for coral reef damage assessment and restoration. Bull Mar Sci 69(2):975–988Google Scholar
- Peterson CH, Lubchenco J (1997) Marine ecosystem services. Island Press, Washington, pp 177–195Google Scholar
- ReefBase: A Global Information System for Coral Reefs (2014). http://www.reefbase.org
- Sibbing JM (2005) Mitigation Banking: will the Myth Ever Die? Natl Wetl Newsl 27(6):5–6Google Scholar
- USGS-NAS (2014) United States Geological Survey-Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database (USGS-NAS). http://nas.er.usgs.gov. Accessed 4 Nov 2014