Assessing the effectiveness of local management of coral reefs sing expert opinion and spatial Bayesian modeling

Ban, Stephen S., Pressey, Robert L., and Graham, Nicholas A.J. (2015) Assessing the effectiveness of local management of coral reefs sing expert opinion and spatial Bayesian modeling. PLoS One, 10 (8). e0135465. pp. 1-16.

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Abstract

Multiple stressors are an increasing concern in the management and conservation of ecosystems, and have been identified as a key gap in research. Coral reefs are one example of an ecosystem where management of local stressors may be a way of mitigating or delaying the effects of climate change. Predicting how multiple stressors interact, particularly in a spatially explicit fashion, is a difficult challenge. Here we use a combination of an expert-elicited Bayesian network (BN) and spatial environmental data to examine how hypothetical scenarios of climate change and local management would result in different outcomes for coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Parameterizing our BN using the mean responses from our experts resulted in predictions of limited efficacy of local management in combating the effects of climate change. However, there was considerable variability in expert responses and uncertainty was high. Many reefs within the central GBR appear to be at risk of further decline based on the pessimistic opinions of our expert pool. Further parameterization of the model as more data and knowledge become available could improve predictive power. Our approach serves as a starting point for subsequent work that can fine-tune parameters and explore uncertainties in predictions of responses to management.

Item ID: 41907
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

© 2015 Ban et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Australian Postgraduate Award
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 14:02
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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