Nicholas V C Polunin

Nicholas V C Polunin
The University of Newcastle, Australia · School of Marine Science and Technology

BA (Oxon) Zoology, PhD (Cantab) Aquatic ecology

About

302
Publications
128,616
Reads
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23,743
Citations
Citations since 2016
45 Research Items
8213 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,200
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,200
Additional affiliations
October 1986 - present
Newcastle University
Position
  • Professor of Marine Environmental Science
October 1986 - August 2017
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • I teach at BSc and MSc/MRes levels, and carry out research with students and research assistants on coastal ecology, particularly that of reefs. I lead the research group.
April 1982 - September 1986
University of Papua New Guinea
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • I taught and researched coral reef (particularly grazing fish energetics) and freshwater lake ecology (notably temporal and spatial changes in two 'swamp' systems). I also ran a coastal research station (Motupore Island).
Education
October 1974 - June 1979
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Aquatic ecology
October 1969 - July 1972
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (302)
Article
Full-text available
Coral reef ecosystems are exceptionally complex with a myriad of trophic pathways and consumer relationships. The application of stable isotopes (SIs) offers numerous advantages over traditional methods towards understanding these intricate systems. We summarize current knowledge derived from the rapidly increasing SI literature base and identify p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sustainably managing fisheries requires regular and reliable evaluation of stock status. However, most multispecies reef fisheries around the globe tend to be data-poor and lack research and monitoring capacity (e.g., long-term fishery data), preventing the estimation of sustainable reference points against which stocks can be assessed. Here, combi...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reefs were traditionally perceived as productive hot spots in oligotrophic waters. While modern evidence indicates that many coral reef food webs are heavily subsidized by planktonic production, the pathways through which this occurs remain unresolved. We used the analytical power of carbon isotope analysis of essential amino acids to disting...
Article
This paper is a study of stakeholders’ perceptions of the reliability of landings data obtained by governments on fish stocks. The case studied is the tuna fishery in Indonesia, which is the country’s most important fisheries sector in terms of income and employment, but poses particular difficulties for landings data collection because Indonesia i...
Article
Full-text available
This research is a study of the way the small-scale pole-and-line tuna fishery in Sorong, Indonesia by examining official records of supply chains; key informant and fishers’ perceptions of marketing; and personal observations of landings and selling. The main finding of the study is that the pole-and-line fishers in Sorong have made strenuous effo...
Article
The UK coastal trap fisheries target two key species, European lobster Homarus gammarus (L.) and brown crab Cancer pagurus L. Their stock status is assessed periodically using size‐based, yield‐per‐recruit analysis. Fishery trends are described using landings and, where available, effort data to estimate catch per unit of effort (CPUE), nominally p...
Article
Full-text available
Predators on coral reefs play an important ecological role structuring reef fish communities and are important fishery targets. It is thought that reef predator assemblages increase in density and diversity from inner lagoonal to outer edge reefs. Oceanic atolls may differ though, as nutrients are available throughout. Reef predator populations are...
Article
The research was conducted to investigate the oceanographic characteristics at three traditional anchored Fish Aggregating Device (FADs) sites for tuna pole-and-line fishery in eastern Indonesia. The FADs locations, and sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll-a (chl-a), salinity (sal), wave height (wav), wind (win) current (cur) were examined...
Article
Full-text available
Stable isotopes have provided important insight into the trophic structure and interaction in many ecosystems, but to date have scarcely been applied to the complex food webs of coral reefs. We sampled white muscle tissues from the fish species composing 80% of the biomass in the 4–512 g body mass range at Cape Eleuthera (the Bahamas) in order to e...
Article
Full-text available
Sympatric species may partition resources to reduce competition and facilitate co‐existence. While spatial variation and specialization in feeding strategies may be prevalent among large marine predators, studies have focussed on sharks, birds, and marine mammals. We consider for the first time the isotopic niche partitioning of co‐occurring, teleo...
Article
Full-text available
1)Coral reef food webs are complex, vary spatially and remain poorly understood. Certain large predators, notably sharks, are subsidised by pelagic production on outer reef slopes, but how widespread this dependence is across all teleost fishery target species and within atolls is unclear. 2)North Malé Atoll (Maldives) includes oceanic barrier as w...
Article
Full-text available
The skipjack tuna fisheries in the Eastern Indonesia has the potential for sustainable fisheries in terms of tuna size and species caught. One of the reasons is the sustainable fishing gear which is known in the local name as hutate or internationally popular as pole-and-line. This study examines the supply chains of skipjack tuna fishery in easter...
Article
The grazing behaviour of two Caribbean parrotfish, a fished species, the stoplight parrotfish Sparisoma viride and a non‐fished species, the striped parrotfish Scarus iseri, were studied in the presence (fished site) and absence (marine reserve) of chronic spearfishing activity. Diurnal feeding periodicity did not differ between the sites in either...
Article
Full-text available
1.Pelagic and benthic systems usually interact, but their dynamics and production rates differ. Such differences influence the distribution, reproductive cycles, growth rates, stability and productivity of the consumers they support. Consumer preferences for, and dependence on, pelagic or benthic production are governed by the availability of these...
Article
Full-text available
Mangroves are of great ecological and socioeconomic importance, yet they are under threat from urban development on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. To test for possible nutrient‐related impacts, we compared water‐column nutrient concentrations, C and N stable isotope values and other environmental variables between mangroves with known se...
Article
As part of an ecosystem based approach to fisheries management (EBFM), the heterogeneity of biological communities, key ecological processes and human uses must be understood. Although fishing effort distribution and marine habitat distribution and use are increasingly well understood, little research has quantified spatio-temporal changes in fishi...
Article
Full-text available
Stable isotope analysis is a useful tool for studying the ecology of marine consumers, as carbon (δ¹³C) and nitrogen (δ¹⁵N) isotope ratios may reflect individuals’ patterns of diet and habitat use. Knowledge of foraging strategies has significant implications for the conservation of endangered loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta (Linnaeus, 1758). In...
Article
The direct and indirect impacts of the increase in human population, in particular the growing demand for food, as well as various aspects of climate change pose threats to the abundance of parrotfishes (Scarinae), the main coral reef grazers. One way to reduce fishing is by forming marine protected area (MPA). MPAs tend to increase the abundance o...
Article
Habitat and fisheries usage data are key components for ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management (EBFM). Significant gaps in knowledge remain for fisheries-habitat interactions, particularly in inshore fisheries where vessels are <12 m in length. Here, we show changes in inshore fishing effort distribution (<12 m) and habitat use over the d...
Article
Impacts of mobile fishing gears on habitat and benthos have been well-documented; in contrast, less studied physical impacts of static fishing gear on benthic habitats are still debated. Pot fishing, is a growing sector in the UK and evidence of any impacts is needed to inform management. This study simulated high intensity experimental pot fishing...
Article
Lipids affect stable isotope values generated for marine fishes, however these effects remain poorly described for many extant shark taxa, especially deep-sea species. Here, we report the effects of lipid extraction (LE) on δ13C, δ15N, and C:N values of seven deep-sea sharks, generate novel mathematical normalizations for δ13C based on the relation...
Article
Deep-sea communities are subject to a growing number of extrinsic pressures, which threatens their structure and function. Here we use carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes to provide new insights into the community structure of a data-poor deep-sea island slope system, the Exuma Sound, The Bahamas. A total of 78 individuals from 16 species were capt...
Article
Full-text available
In the Philippines, very high fishing pressure coincides with the globally greatest number of shorefish species, yet no long-term fisheries data are available to explore species-level changes that may have occurred widely in the most species rich and vulnerable marine ecosystem, namely coral reefs. Through 2655 face-to-face interviews conducted bet...
Data
Comparison of fitted values versus standardized residuals between Poisson Generalized Linear Model (Poisson GLM), Negative binomial GLM and Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLMM) obtained from the life history trait analysis. (TIF)
Data
Maximum fishing time of fishers in each of the six decades and current time of interview. (TIF)
Data
Target species of fishers in each marine KBA. (DOCX)
Data
Box plot of total number of species reported per age category. Early:21-41years old; Mid:42–62 years old; Late≥63 years old (TIF)
Data
List of species reported to be disappearing from catches. (DOCX)
Data
Variables included in initial models used in GLMM Analysis. (DOCX)
Data
Types of main fishing gear per marine KBA. (TIF)
Data
Site characteristics with numbers and age categories of fishers interviewed. Early: 21–41 years, Mid: 42–62 years, Late-aged: ≥63 years (DOCX)
Data
Questions asked in interviews based on Lavides et al. 2010 [27]. (DOCX)
Data
Life History traits of the finfish names identified up to the species level. Lmax = maximum body size, Tmat = age at first maturity, k = growth coefficient. (DOCX)
Data
Fitted values versus standardized residuals obtained from the final CPUE temporal trend models. Residuals show a pattern of bands given by the number of zeroes in the data, which is a characteristic to all linear regression, GLM, mixed models and GAM models when there are lots of observations with the same values. Values larger than 2 or -2 are pot...
Data
Normal qq plots obtained from the final models allowing the assumption of normality to be checked. The two key species, C. undulatus, and E. lanceolatus, show resulting points that lie roughly on a straight line, indicating the distribution of the data is considered to be the same as normally distributed variable, than B. muricatum, A.ciliaris and...
Data
Main fishing gears used by fishers per marine KBA. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Aspects of between-individual trophic niche width can be explored through the isotopic niche concept. In many cases isotopic variability can be influenced by the scale of sampling and biological characteristics including body size or sex. Sample size-corrected (SEAc) and Bayesian (SEAb) standard ellipse areas and generalised least squares (GLS) mod...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Acoustic telemetry is an important tool for monitoring the movements, distributions and behaviour of marine animals. Its application is moving away from exploratory research towards more applied research questions and the monitoring of impacts, such as offshore installations, artificial habitats and spatial closures to fishing. This document will p...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding an animal's movement, distribution and activity pattern is vital for effective delivery of evidence-based management; however, such data are sparse for many economically important fishery targets, particularly the European lobster Homarus gammarus. This study aimed to elucidate high-resolution movement and activity patterns of a large...
Article
There has been ongoing flattening of Caribbean coral reefs with the loss of habitat having severe implications for these systems. Complexity and its structural components are important to fish species richness and community composition, but little is known about its role for other taxa or species-specific responses. This study reveals the importanc...
Article
Coral colony size-frequency distribution data offer valuable information about the ecological status of coral reefs. Such data are usually collected by divers in situ, but stereo video is being increasingly used for monitoring benthic marine communities and may be used to collect size information for coral colonies. This study compared the size-fre...
Article
Continuing degradation of coral reef ecosystems has generated substantial interest in how management can support reef resilience. Fishing is the primary source of diminished reef function globally, leading to widespread calls for additional marine reserves to recover fish biomass and restore key ecosystem functions. Yet there are no established bas...
Article
Full-text available
We analyzed the diversity of bacterial epibionts and trophic ecology of a new species of Kiwa yeti crab discovered at two hydrothermal vent fields (E2 and E9) on the East Scotia Ridge (ESR) in the Southern Ocean using a combination of 454 pyrosequencing, Sanger sequencing, and stable isotope analysis. The Kiwa epibiont communities were dominated by...
Article
Full-text available
The North Sea is one of the most economically important seas in the world due to productive fisheries, extensive oil and gas fields, busy shipping routes, marine renewable energy development and recreational activity. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the use of marine protected areas (here defined widely to include fisheries closed areas and no-take mari...
Article
Full-text available
From a fisheries perspective, the declaration of a 640,000km(2) "no-take" Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Chagos Archipelago in 2010 was preceded by inadequate consideration of the scientific rationale for protection. The entire area was already a highly regulated zone which had been subject to a well-managed fisheries licensing system. The isla...
Article
Full-text available
Fisheries worldwide are facing overexploitation, yet the social dimensions of fishers' behavior remain under-studied, and there is demand for an improved understanding of social processes that influence fisheries' dynamics. Fishers draw on social relationships to acquire information relating to fishing opportunities, contributing to knowledge that...