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Comparing marine and terrestrial ecosystems: implications for the design of coastal marine reserves
Carr, M.H.; Neigel, J.E.; Estes, J.A.; Andelman, S.; Warner, R.R.; Largier, J.L. (2003). Comparing marine and terrestrial ecosystems: implications for the design of coastal marine reserves. Ecol. Appl. 13(1, Suppl.): S90-S107
In: Ecological Applications. Ecological Society of America: Tempe, AZ. ISSN 1051-0761, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Carr, M.H.
  • Neigel, J.E.
  • Estes, J.A.
  • Andelman, S.
  • Warner, R.R.
  • Largier, J.L.

    Concepts and theory for the design and application of terrestrial reserves isbased on our understanding of environmental, ecological, and evolutionary processes responsiblefor biological diversity and sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems and how humanshave influenced these processes. How well this terrestrial-based theory can be appliedtoward the design and application of reserves in the coastal marine environment depends,in part, on the degree of similarity between these systems. Several marked differences inecological and evolutionary processes exist between marine and terrestrial ecosystems asramifications of fundamental differences in their physical environments (i.e., the relativeprevalence of air and water) and contemporary patterns of human impacts. Most notably,the great extent and rate of dispersal of nutrients, materials, holoplanktonic organisms, andreproductive propagules of benthic organisms expand scales of connectivity among nearshorecommunities and ecosystems. Consequently, the ‘‘openness’’ of marine populations,communities, and ecosystems probably has marked influences on their spatial, genetic, andtrophic structures and dynamics in ways experienced by only some terrestrial species. Suchdifferences appear to be particularly significant for the kinds of organisms most exploitedand targeted for protection in coastal marine ecosystems (fishes and macroinvertebrates).These and other differences imply some unique design criteria and application of reservesin the marine environment. In explaining the implications of these differences for marinereserve design and application, we identify many of the environmental and ecologicalprocesses and design criteria necessary for consideration in the development of the analyticalapproaches developed elsewhere in this Special Issue.

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