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Recovery trajectories of kelp forest animals are rapid yet spatially variable across a network of temperate marine protected areas
Caselle, J.E.; Rassweiler, A.; Hamilton, S.L.; Warner, R.R. (2015). Recovery trajectories of kelp forest animals are rapid yet spatially variable across a network of temperate marine protected areas. NPG Scientific Reports 5(14102): 14 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep14102
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Biodiversity; Ecosystems; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Caselle, J.E.
  • Rassweiler, A.
  • Hamilton, S.L.
  • Warner, R.R.

Abstract
    Oceans currently face a variety of threats, requiring ecosystem-based approaches to management such as networks of marine protected areas (MPAs). We evaluated changes in fish biomass on temperate rocky reefs over the decade following implementation of a network of MPAs in the northern Channel Islands, California. We found that the biomass of targeted (i.e. fished) species has increased consistently inside all MPAs in the network, with an effect of geography on the strength of the response. More interesting, biomass of targeted fish species also increased outside MPAs, although only 27% as rapidly as in the protected areas, indicating that redistribution of fishing effort has not severely affected unprotected populations. Whether the increase outside of MPAs is due to changes in fishing pressure, fisheries management actions, adult spillover, favorable environmental conditions, or a combination of all four remains unknown. We evaluated methods of controlling for biogeographic or environmental variation across networks of protected areas and found similar performance of models incorporating empirical sea surface temperature versus a simple geographic blocking term based on assemblage structure. The patterns observed are promising indicators of the success of this network, but more work is needed to understand how ecological and physical contexts affect MPA performance.

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