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Applying ecological criteria to marine reserve design: a case study from the California Channel Islands
Airamé, S.; Dugan, J.E.; Lafferty, K.D.; Leslie, H.M.; McArdle, D.A.; Warner, R.R. (2003). Applying ecological criteria to marine reserve design: a case study from the California Channel Islands. Ecol. Appl. 13(1, Suppl.): S170-S184
In: Ecological Applications. Ecological Society of America: Tempe, AZ. ISSN 1051-0761, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Biogeography; Connecting; Fishery management; Habitat; Marine parks; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Airamé, S.
  • Dugan, J.E.
  • Lafferty, K.D.
  • Leslie, H.M.
  • McArdle, D.A.
  • Warner, R.R.

    Using ecological criteria as a theoretical framework, we describe the stepsinvolved in designing a network of marine reserves for conservation and fisheries management.Although we describe the case study of the Channel Islands, the approach tomarine reserve design may be effective in other regions where traditional managementalone does not sustain marine resources. A group of agencies, organizations, and individualsestablished clear goals for marine reserves in the Channel Islands, including conservationof ecosystem biodiversity, sustainable fisheries, economic viability, natural and culturalheritage, and education. Given the constraints of risk management, experimental design,monitoring, and enforcement, scientists recommended at least one, but no more than four,reserves in each biogeographic region. In general, the percentage of an area to be includedin a reserve network depends on the goals. In the Channel Islands, after consideration ofboth conservation goals and the risk from human threats and natural catastrophes, scientistsrecommended reserving an area of 30-50% of all representative habitats in each biogeographicregion. For most species of concern, except pinnipeds and seabirds, informationabout distributions, dispersal, and population growth was limited. As an alternative tospecies distribution information, suitable habitats for species of concern were used to locatepotential reserve sites. We used a simulated annealing algorithm to identify potential reservenetwork scenarios that would represent all habitats within the smallest area possible. Theanalysis produced an array of potential reserve network scenarios that all met the establishedgoals.

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