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Population models for marine reserve design: a retrospective and prospective synthesis
Gerber, L.R.; Botsford, L.W.; Hastings, A.; Possingham, H.P.; Gaines, S.D.; Palumbi, S.R.; Andelman, S. (2003). Population models for marine reserve design: a retrospective and prospective synthesis. Ecol. Appl. 13(1, Suppl.): S47-S64
In: Ecological Applications. Ecological Society of America: Tempe, AZ. ISSN 1051-0761, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Gerber, L.R.
  • Botsford, L.W.
  • Hastings, A.
  • Possingham, H.P.
  • Gaines, S.D.
  • Palumbi, S.R.
  • Andelman, S.

    We synthesize results from existing models of marine reserves to identifykey theoretical issues that appear to be well understood, as well as issues in need of furtherexploration. Models of marine reserves are relatively new in the scientific literature; 32 ofthe 34 theoretical papers we reviewed were published after 1990. These models have focusedprimarily on questions concerning fishery management at the expense of other objectivessuch as conservation, scientific understanding, recreation, education, and tourism. Roughlyone-third of the models analyze effects on cohorts while the remaining models have someform of complete population dynamics. Few models explicitly include larval dispersal. Ina fisheries context, the primary conclusion drawn by many of the complete populationmodels is that reserves increase yield when populations would otherwise be overfished. Asecond conclusion, resulting primarily from single-cohort models, is that reserves willprovide fewer benefits for species with greater adult rates of movement. Although somemodels are beginning to yield information on the spatial configurations of reserves requiredfor populations with specific dispersal distances to persist, it remains an aspect of reservedesign in need of further analysis. Other outstanding issues include the effects of (1)particular forms of density dependence, (2) multispecies interactions, (3) fisher behavior,and (4) effects of concentrated fishing on habitat. Model results indicate that marine reservescould play a beneficial role in the protection of marine systems against overfishing. Additionalmodeling and analysis will greatly improve prospects for a better understandingof the potential of marine reserves for conserving biodiversity.

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