Elizabeth M.P. Madin, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor
Hawaii Institute of Marin Biology
University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA.
|The spokesperson for the study, Dr. Elizabeth Madin (above), tells PinP, "What the halos are telling us is that marine reserves - especially older ones - where predator and herbivore populations have had sufficient time to recover from previous fishing - are protecting key species and their resulting interactions.|
Since halos can also be found in some ares unprotected from fishing, the team calls for more research to further confirm the connection.
The findings were published recently in the proceedings of The Royal Society in the UK and in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.
She's referring to a truly fascinating undersea scenario in which predator fish actually play a beneficial - albeit indirect - role in carbon sequestration. A healthy habitat means more predators. Their prey, often herbivorous fish or marine mammals, cling to the relative safety of their home reefs and don't venture too far afield to find plants to eat.