Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 91–98 | Cite as

Changes in fish community in seagrass beds in Mangoku-ura Bay from 2009 to 2014, the period before and after the tsunami following the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake

  • Jun Shoji
  • Mitsuru Morimoto
Special Section: Original Article Oceanographic observations after the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku


In order to evaluate the impact of the tsunami following the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake on habitat condition and fish community structure in seagrass Zostera marina beds, seagrass vegetation and structure of fish communities were investigated in Mangoku-ura Bay, on the Pacific coast of northern Japan, from 2009 to 2014. Underwater observation revealed a decrease in the vegetation coverage in the seagrass bed after the tsunami. A total of 1764 fishes belonging to 37 species (18 families) were collected. Effects of year on mean fish abundance (no. fish 100 m−2) and biomass (fish weigh in g 100 m−2) in the seagrass bed were significant, while there was no significant effect of year on number of fish species. Seagrass-associated or substrate-associated species such as Sebastes cheni and Ditrema viride were dominant by weight in the fish community in 2009, and were replaced with sand or mud bottom-associated fish species such as Acanthogobius flavimanus in 2011. An increase in abundance of sand or mud bottom-associated fish species such as Acentrogobius virgatulus and Takifugu niphobles contributed to significant increase in the mean fish abundance in 2011, when seagrass shoot density decreased due to the disturbance of the sea bottom and sediment deposition by the tsunami. Changes in sea bottom and vegetation conditions are concluded to have been factors causing the change in dominant fish species.


Disturbance Fish assemblage Habitat Species diversity Succession Zostera marina 



We express our thanks to students and staff of Miyagi Prefecture Fisheries High School, Mrs. Hikaru Nakano, Atsushi Fukuta, Hikari Kinoshita and Dr. Yashiro Kamimura, Hiroshima University, Dr. Hideki Takami, Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Drs. Satoshi Katayama and Takashi Minami, Tohoku University, for their assistance during the field sampling. This research was supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (RF-0907, E-1102) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, and Tohoku Ecosystem-Associated Marine Sciences of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan.


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Takehara Fisheries Research LaboratoryHiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Miyagi Prefecture Fisheries High SchoolIshinomakiJapan

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