A method for incorporating climate change modelling into marine conservation planning: an Indo-west Pacific example

Levy, Jessica S., and Ban, Natalie C. (2013) A method for incorporating climate change modelling into marine conservation planning: an Indo-west Pacific example. Marine Policy, 38. pp. 16-24.

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Marine protected areas (MPA) are rapidly being established to minimize the impact of anthropogenic disturbances, yet, while climate change is acknowledged as a growing threat, very limited research exists about how to directly incorporate climate-related disturbances into MPA design. Using the conservation planning software Marxan and the Indo-west Pacific as a study region, an illustrative approach is developed here that incorporates climate change projections into the process of identifying priority areas for marine conservation. Conservation targets were set at 10% and 30% of areas that continually held sea-surface temperatures less than 1 degrees C above maximum non-extreme historic temperatures (derived from satellite imagery from 1984-2009). This approach allowed for continuity in conservation objectives across both space and time by identifying the geographic extent of thermal stress in the region and illustrating how conditions would change in future years. Achievement of targets was found to be flexible, but some areas were more important than others for achieving these targets. Interannual trend analyses were carried out for three climate models under two climate change scenarios to examine spatial and temporal patterns of thermal stress. Spatial patterns of thermal stress varied throughout the region. Results of the conservation approach were compared to the trend results to see whether the trends might be a simpler approach for accounting for climate change impacts in conservation planning (i.e., one feature could be used instead of more than 1000). The interannual analyses had a low overlap with the Marxan results, and hence are not a suitable substitute for the approach shown here. This study showed that inclusion of climate-related disturbances in marine conservation planning is feasible and should become common practice, together with targets for biodiversity.

Item ID: 25500
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9460
Keywords: climate change, conservation planning, sea-surface temperature, marine protected areas, coral triangle, marine spatial planning
Additional Information:

Supplementary data associated with this article can be found in the online version at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2012.05.015

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: Australian Research Council (DP1096453)
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 05:37
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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