Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 90
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Frisch, Ashley J. Cameron, Darren S. Pratchett, Morgan S. Williamson, David H. Williams, Ashley J. Reynolds, Adam D. Hoey, Andrew S. Rizzari, Justin R. Evans, Louisa Kerrigan, Brigid Muldoon, Geoffrey Welch, David J. and Hobbs, Jean-Paul A. 2016. Key aspects of the biology, fisheries and management of Coral grouper. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries,

    Garza, Corey 2016. Landscape Complexity Effects on Fisheries: Insights from Marine Landscape Ecology. Current Landscape Ecology Reports, Vol. 1, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Hallwass, Gustavo and Silvano, Renato A.M. 2016. Patterns of selectiveness in the Amazonian freshwater fisheries: implications for management. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 59, Issue. 9, p. 1537.

    Lima, Evelyn G. Begossi, Alpina Hallwass, Gustavo and Silvano, Renato A.M. 2016. Fishers’ knowledge indicates short-term temporal changes in the amount and composition of catches in the southwestern Atlantic. Marine Policy, Vol. 71, p. 111.

    Boaden, A. E. and Kingsford, M. .J 2015. Predators drive community structure in coral reef fish assemblages. Ecosphere, Vol. 6, Issue. 4, p. art46.

    Coleman, M. A. Bates, A. E. Stuart-Smith, R. D. Malcolm, H. A. Harasti, D. Jordan, A. Knott, N. A. Edgar, G. J. Kelaher, B. P. and Schoeman, David 2015. Functional traits reveal early responses in marine reserves following protection from fishing. Diversity and Distributions, Vol. 21, Issue. 8, p. 876.

    Emslie, Michael J. Logan, Murray Williamson, David H. Ayling, Anthony M. MacNeil, M. Aaron Ceccarelli, Daniela Cheal, Alistair J. Evans, Richard D. Johns, Kerryn A. Jonker, Michelle J. Miller, Ian R. Osborne, Kate Russ, Garry R. and Sweatman, Hugh P.A. 2015. Expectations and Outcomes of Reserve Network Performance following Re-zoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Current Biology, Vol. 25, Issue. 8, p. 983.

    Fitzpatrick, BM Harvey, ES Langlois, TJ Babcock, R and Twiggs, E 2015. Effects of fishing on fish assemblages at the reefscape scale. Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 524, p. 241.

    Kramer, Michael J. Bellwood, Orpha Fulton, Christopher J. and Bellwood, David R. 2015. Refining the invertivore: diversity and specialisation in fish predation on coral reef crustaceans. Marine Biology, Vol. 162, Issue. 9, p. 1779.

    Lamb, Joleah B. Williamson, David H. Russ, Garry R. and Willis, Bette L. 2015. Protected areas mitigate diseases of reef-building corals by reducing damage from fishing. Ecology, Vol. 96, Issue. 9, p. 2555.

    Russ, GR Miller, KI Rizzari, JR and Alcala, AC 2015. Long-term no-take marine reserve and benthic habitat effects on coral reef fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 529, p. 233.

    Sadio, Oumar Simier, Monique Ecoutin, Jean-Marc Raffray, Jean Laë, Raymond and Tito de Morais, Luis 2015. Effect of a marine protected area on tropical estuarine fish assemblages: Comparison between protected and unprotected sites in Senegal. Ocean & Coastal Management, Vol. 116, p. 257.

    Soykan, Candan U. and Lewison, Rebecca L. 2015. Using community-level metrics to monitor the effects of marine protected areas on biodiversity. Conservation Biology, Vol. 29, Issue. 3, p. 775.

    Abesamis, Rene A. Green, Alison L. Russ, Garry R. and Jadloc, Claro Renato L. 2014. The intrinsic vulnerability to fishing of coral reef fishes and their differential recovery in fishery closures. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, Vol. 24, Issue. 4, p. 1033.

    Bunt, CM and Kingsford, MJ 2014. Movement, habitat utilization and behaviour of coral trout Plectropomus leopardus during and after the reproductive period on the southern Great Barrier Reef. Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 496, p. 33.

    Coker, Darren J. Wilson, Shaun K. and Pratchett, Morgan S. 2014. Importance of live coral habitat for reef fishes. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, Vol. 24, Issue. 1, p. 89.

    Edgar, Graham J. Stuart-Smith, Rick D. Willis, Trevor J. Kininmonth, Stuart Baker, Susan C. Banks, Stuart Barrett, Neville S. Becerro, Mikel A. Bernard, Anthony T. F. Berkhout, Just Buxton, Colin D. Campbell, Stuart J. Cooper, Antonia T. Davey, Marlene Edgar, Sophie C. Försterra, Günter Galván, David E. Irigoyen, Alejo J. Kushner, David J. Moura, Rodrigo Parnell, P. Ed Shears, Nick T. Soler, German Strain, Elisabeth M. A. and Thomson, Russell J. 2014. Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features. Nature, Vol. 506, Issue. 7487, p. 216.

    Frisch, Ashley J. Ireland, Matthew and Baker, Ronald 2014. Trophic ecology of large predatory reef fishes: energy pathways, trophic level, and implications for fisheries in a changing climate. Marine Biology, Vol. 161, Issue. 1, p. 61.

    Fujita, Rod Thornhill, Daniel J Karr, Kendra Cooper, Cara H and Dee, Laura E 2014. Assessing and managing data-limited ornamental fisheries in coral reefs. Fish and Fisheries, Vol. 15, Issue. 4, p. 661.

    Harvey, Chris J. and Rose, Kenneth 2014. Mediation functions in Ecopath with Ecosim: handle with care. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Vol. 71, Issue. 7, p. 1020.


The effects of marine reserve protection on the trophic relationships of reef fishes on the Great Barrier Reef

  • N.A.J. Graham (a1), R.D. Evans (a1) and G.R. Russ (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 August 2003

What are the effects of no-take marine reserves on trophic relationships of coral reef fish? Previous studies often have lacked detailed dietary information on major predators, and have often been confounded by differences in habitat complexity between reserve and fished sites. This study investigates the effects of marine reserve protection on predator-prey interactions of coral reef fish on the inshore islands of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The abundance of species of prey fish of Plectropomus leopardus (Serranidae), a piscivore and the major target of the hook and line fisheries on the GBR, were estimated in protected and fished zones. These prey species were identified from previous detailed studies of the diet of P. leopardus. Fish populations and habitat characteristics were surveyed by underwater visual census. Previous studies had determined that the biomass of P. leopardus was 3–4 times higher in protected than fished zones in the Whitsunday and Palm Islands, central GBR, after 14 years of protection. Eight of the nine prey species had a higher density within fished zones than protected zones, six significantly so. The density of all prey fish was twice that in the fished than the protected zone (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in availability of different sized refuge holes, structural complexity or live coral cover between zones. Thus, important attributes of habitat complexity did not confound the comparisons between reserve and fished zones. Finally, a significant negative correlation (r = 0.46) between coral trout biomass and summed prey fish biomass suggested that predation may be an important structuring process in this system. The results have implications for the conservation of fishery targets and their prey. The study highlights the potential ecosystem implications of the use of no-take marine reserves as conservation and fisheries management tools.

Corresponding author
Correspondence: Mr Nicholas A.J. Graham Tel: +44 15394 46212 Fax: +44 15394 46212 e-mail:
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *