Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Quantifying use of kelp forest habitat by commercially important crustaceans in the United Kingdom

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Pip MooreORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.Kelp forests are regarded as important nursery and foraging habitats for commercially important species of finfish and shellfish despite an absence of fishery-independent data in many regions. Here, we conducted targeted surveys at 12 subtidal reefs, distributed across 9° of latitude in the UK, using three complementary techniques (Underwater Visual Census (UVC), Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) and deployment of prawn pots) to quantify the abundance of crustaceans within kelp forests. Commercially important species were recorded at all sites; Cancer pagurus (brown/edible crab) and Necora puber (velvet swimming crab) were the most abundant and commonly observed, although Maja brachydactyla (spider crab), Homarus gammarus (European lobster) and Palaemon serratus (common prawn) were also recorded. The abundance of some species exhibited pronounced regional variability, with higher abundances of C. pagurus within northern regions and, conversely, higher abundances of M. brachydactyla and P. serratus within southern regions. Each sampling technique yielded similar spatial patterns for the most abundant species but had varying sensitivity to some species. Most individuals observed were juvenile or sub-adults, suggesting kelp forests serve as important nursery grounds for commercially and ecologically important crustaceans. Further monitoring efforts, conducted across greater spatiotemporal scales and in different habitat types, are needed to provide a robust baseline against which to detect changes and to inform management and conservation actions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smale DA, King NG, Jackson-Bue M, Moore PJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Year: 2022

Volume: 102

Issue: 8

Pages: 627-634

Print publication date: 01/12/2022

Online publication date: 06/01/2023

Acceptance date: 21/11/2022

Date deposited: 17/02/2023

ISSN (print): 0025-3154

ISSN (electronic): 1469-7769

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0025315422001023

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/9rqj-ep31


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric