A connectivity portfolio effect stabilizes marine reserve performance

Harrison, Hugo B., Bode, Michael, Williamson, David H., Berumen, Michael L., and Jones, Geoffrey P. (2020) A connectivity portfolio effect stabilizes marine reserve performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117 (41). pp. 25595-25600.

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1920580117
 
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Abstract

Well-managed and enforced no-take marine reserves generate important larval subsidies to neighboring habitats and thereby con-tribute to the long-term sustainability of fisheries. However, larval dispersal patterns are variable, which leads to temporal fluctua-tions in the contribution of a single reserve to the replenishment of local populations. Identifying management strategies that mit-igate the uncertainty in larval supply will help ensure the stability of recruitment dynamics and minimize the volatility in fishery catches. Here, we use genetic parentage analysis to show extreme variability in both the dispersal patterns and recruitment contribu-tion of four individual marine reserves across six discrete recruit-ment cohorts for coral grouper (Plectropomus maculatus) on the Great Barrier Reef. Together, however, the asynchronous contri-butions from multiple reserves create temporal stability in recruit-ment via a connectivity portfolio effect. This dampening effect reduces the variability in larval supply from individual reserves by a factor of 1.8, which effectively halves the uncertainty in the recruitment contribution of individual reserves. Thus, not only does the network of four marine reserves generate valuable larval subsidies to neighboring habitats, the aggregate effect of individual reserves mitigates temporal fluctuations in dispersal patterns and the replenishment of local populations. Our results indicate that small networks of marine reserves yield previously unrecog-nized stabilizing benefits that ensure a consistent larval supply to replenish exploited fish stocks.

Item ID: 67779
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1091-6490
Keywords: marine reserve, larval dispersal, connectivity, portfolio effects, marine spatial planning
Copyright Information: © 2020 Published under the PNAS license. Accepted Version: © The Authors
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Projects and Grants: ARC DE160101141, ARC DP190103056, ARC FT170100274, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Grant CE140100020
Date Deposited: 28 May 2021 06:37
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300599 Fisheries sciences not elsewhere classified @ 40%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 20%
SEO Codes: 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1003 Fisheries - wild caught > 100305 Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna) @ 40%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180504 Marine biodiversity @ 40%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280111 Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences @ 20%
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