Great Barrier Reef no-take areas include a range of disturbance regimes

Maynard, Jeffrey A., Beeden, Roger, Puotinen, Marjetta, Johnson, Johanna E., Marshall, Paul, van Hooidonk, Ruben, Heron, Scott F., Devlin, Michelle, Lawrey, Eric, Dryden, Jen, Ban, Natalie, Wachenfeld, David, and Planes, Serge (2016) Great Barrier Reef no-take areas include a range of disturbance regimes. Conservation Letters, 9 (3). pp. 191-199.

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Abstract

Exposure to disturbance is rarely considered in marine protected area planning. Typically, representing and replicating the habitat types present within protected areas is used to spread the risk of protecting frequently disturbed sites. This was the approach used during the 2004 re-zoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) via the Representative Areas Program. Over 10 years later, we examine whether the risk was spread by mapping exposure of coral reefs in the GBRMP to four disturbances that cause coral mortality: bleaching, tropical cyclones, crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks, and freshwater inundation. Our objectives were to: (1) assess whether no-take areas include a range of disturbance regimes, and (2) identify coral reef areas with lower relative exposure. At least 13% and an average of 31% of reef locations in each of 11 exposure classes are included within no-take areas. A greater proportion of low-exposure areas are within no-take areas than high-exposure areas (34.2% vs. 28.3%). The results demonstrate the value of risk spreading when exposure data are not available while also showing that regularly assessing exposure increases capacity for adaptive, resilience-based reef management.

Item ID: 40782
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: coral reefs; climate change; exposure; management; marine protected areas; spatial planning; vulnerability
Additional Information:

© 2014 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

ISSN: 1755-263X
Funders: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), European Research Council (ERC)
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 01:20
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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