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Predator-Induced Demographic Shifts in Coral Reef Fish Assemblages

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS ONE, June 2011
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (87th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
1 policy source
1 tweeter


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199 Mendeley
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Predator-Induced Demographic Shifts in Coral Reef Fish Assemblages
Published in
PLoS ONE, June 2011
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0021062
Pubmed ID

Benjamin I. Ruttenberg, Scott L. Hamilton, Sheila M. Walsh, Mary K. Donovan, Alan Friedlander, Edward DeMartini, Enric Sala, Stuart A. Sandin


In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ∼10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 199 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 6 3%
Mexico 2 1%
Kenya 2 1%
Brazil 2 1%
South Africa 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
India 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Other 2 1%
Unknown 180 90%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 47 24%
Student > Ph. D. Student 46 23%
Researcher 35 18%
Student > Bachelor 21 11%
Student > Postgraduate 11 6%
Other 27 14%
Unknown 12 6%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 116 58%
Environmental Science 49 25%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 7 4%
Mathematics 2 1%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 1%
Other 6 3%
Unknown 17 9%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 14. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 January 2013.
All research outputs
of 13,155,608 outputs
Outputs from PLoS ONE
of 141,282 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 12,537,927 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLoS ONE
of 127,937 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,155,608 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 141,282 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.0. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 12,537,927 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 127,937 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its contemporaries.