Fisheries Science

, Volume 84, Issue 2, pp 261–273 | Cite as

Spatial–temporal variations in the composition of two Zostera species in a seagrass bed: implications for population management of a commercially exploited grass shrimp



We examined spatial and temporal variations in the species composition of two seagrass species, Zostera marina and Z. caespitosa, in a lagoon facing the Sea of Okhotsk. We also considered how those variations affected habitat quality for motile epifauna, especially for a commercial shrimp. A long-interval comparison between 1996 and 2013 showed that seagrass species composition in the lagoon did not vary, while their relative abundances did. A survey in 2012 revealed that the abundance of Z. caespitosa was affected by the abundance of Z. marina, water depth, and location in the lagoon. Although these seagrass species have similar aboveground morphology, differences in their fine structures were detected. Diversities of motile animals inhabiting the seagrass species were the same. Differences in seagrass utilization were observed when we focused on a commercial shrimp, Pandalus latirostris. This shrimp always preferred higher densities of shoots irrespective of the species and seasonally changed their preference for the number of leaves per shoot. They were therefore more abundant in Z. caespitosa, which had those structural characteristics. The results suggest that the management of shrimp resources could be improved by flexibly changing protected areas in accordance with the dynamics of seagrass distribution in the lagoon.


Cold temperate region Eelgrass Habitat preference Pandalid shrimp Structural complexity 



We thank T. Kawajiri at the Nishi-Abashiri Fishermen’s Cooperative Association. We also thank K. Nishio at the Okhotsk Marine Research Center and members of the Laboratory of Fisheries Science at Tokyo University of Agriculture for their support in this study. We followed the privacy policy of the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau when we cited data from their publication in this manuscript. This manuscript was improved by valuable comments of two anonymous reviewers. This work was supported by the Global Environment Research Fund (RF-1102) of the Ministry of the Environment.

Supplementary material

12562_2018_1182_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (951 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 950 kb)


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aquatic BioscienceTokyo University of AgricultureAbashiriJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Biosphere ScienceHiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan
  3. 3.Fisheries Research Institute, Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Research CenterHigashi TsugaruJapan

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