Siting marine protected areas based on habitat quality and extent provides the greatest benefit to spatially structured metapopulations

Cabral, Reniel B., Gaines, Steven D., Lim, May T., Atrigenio, Michael P., Mamauag, Samuel S., Pedemonte, Gerold C., and Aliño, Porfirio M. (2016) Siting marine protected areas based on habitat quality and extent provides the greatest benefit to spatially structured metapopulations. Ecosphere, 7 (11). e01533.

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Abstract

Connectivity and its role in the persistence and sustainability of marine metapopulations are attracting increased attention from the scientific community and coastal resource managers. Whether protection should prioritize the connectivity structure or demographic characteristics of a given patch is still unclear. We design a three-stage population model to analyze the relative importance of sources, sinks, quality and extent of juvenile and adult habitat, and node centralities (eigenvector, degree, closeness, and betweenness) as a basis for prioritizing sites. We use a logistic-type stage-structured model to describe the local dynamics of a population with a sessile adult stage and network models to elucidate propagule-exchange dynamics. Our results show that the coupled states of habitat extent and quality, which determine population carrying capacity, are good criteria for protection strategy. Protecting sites on the basis of sources, sinks, or other centrality measures of connectivity becomes optimal only in limited situations, that is, when larval production is not dependent on the adult population. Our findings are robust to a diverse set of larval pathway structures and levels of larval retention, which indicates that the network topology may not be as important as carrying capacity in determining the fate of the metapopulation. Protecting extensive, good quality habitat can help achieve both conservation and fisheries objectives.

Item ID: 75073
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2150-8925
Keywords: Connectivity, Habitat extent and quality, Habitat restoration, Marine protected area, Marine protected area network, Marine reserve, Metapopulation, Patch dynamics, Source and sink
Copyright Information: © 2016 Cabral et al. 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.
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2022 03:58
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300501 Aquaculture @ 50%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300505 Fisheries management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1002 Fisheries - aquaculture > 100299 Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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