Small-scale reef fisheries provide vital sustenance and income for approximately one billion people globally, particularly in developing nations. Tropical reef fish are crucial sources of animal protein and essential micronutrients like iron and zinc, acquired through direct absorption and consumption of low trophic organisms. However, the decline in seabird biodiversity, driven by factors such as invasive species and climate change, disrupts the natural nutrient cycle from land to sea, impacting the nutrient enrichment of microalgae and, consequently, the micronutrient composition of fish.
My masters research aims to quantify the influence of seabird-derived nutrient inputs on reef fishes’ nutritional value by combining fieldwork in Seychelles and laboratory analyses at Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC). The research endeavours to enhances our understanding of natural cross-ecosystem nutrient transfer. This work holds broader implications for food security, given the importance of reef fish as a source of essential micronutrients. Additionally, it seeks to generate insights informing sustainable management strategies for the restoration of weakened seabird-derived nutrient pathways across island ecosystems.
The sea gives and the sea takes, water connects all things, life to death, darkness to light.
Island Reef ConnectionsImplications of Nutrient Flow and Feedback Across the Seabird-Island-Reef System