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  • Is the area fragile or slow to recover Marine infographic
    Rights: Department of Conservation Published 22 May 2021 Size: 1.2 MB Referencing Hub media

    Some habitats and species are resilient and able to recover from damage, while others are fragile or slow to recover. The majority of biogenic habitats are considered vulnerable, fragile, sensitive or slow to recover. Fragile ecosystems are particularly threatened by human activities, such as anchors dragging across the seafloor.

    Some, such as bryozoan beds, take centuries to form and may not show signs of recovery even decades after they have been made off-limits to human activity. Others, like seagrass and kelp forests, are slightly more resilient to activities like bottom-trawling but more sensitive to impacts from the land such as chemical contaminants in stormwater run-off.

    Species can also be considered when assessing vulnerable areas. For example, some New Zealand shark species that have slow growth rates and long breeding cycles or lay small numbers of eggs are considered slow to recover. The same can be said for most deepsea species that have even slower growth rates. It will take centuries for the species and the ecosystems to recover from damage.

    Download the Department of Conservation infographic as a PDF.

    Copyright: Department of Conservation

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