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Spatial, socio-economic, and ecological implications of incorporating minimum size constraints in marine protected area network design

Metcalfe, Kristian, Vaughan, Gregory, Vaz, Sandrine, Smith, Robert J. (2015) Spatial, socio-economic, and ecological implications of incorporating minimum size constraints in marine protected area network design. Conservation Biology, 29 (6). pp. 1615-1625. ISSN 0888-8892. E-ISSN 1523-1739. (doi:10.1111/cobi.12571) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12571

Abstract

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are the cornerstone of most marine conservation strategies, but the effectiveness of each one partly depends on its size and distance to other MPAs in a network. Despite this, current recommendations on ideal MPA size and spacing vary widely, and data are lacking on how these constraints might influence the overall spatial characteristics, socio-economic impacts, and connectivity of the resultant MPA networks. To address this problem, we tested the impact of applying different MPA size constraints in English waters. We used the Marxan spatial prioritization software to identify a network of MPAs that met conservation feature targets, whilst minimizing impacts on fisheries; modified the Marxan outputs with the MinPatch software to ensure each MPA met a minimum size; and used existing data on the dispersal distances of a range of species found in English waters to investigate the likely impacts of such spatial constraints on the region's biodiversity. Increasing MPA size had little effect on total network area or the location of priority areas, but as MPA size increased, fishing opportunity cost to stakeholders increased. In addition, as MPA size increased, the number of closely connected sets of MPAs in networks and the average distance between neighboring MPAs decreased, which consequently increased the proportion of the planning region that was isolated from all MPAs. These results suggest networks containing large MPAs would be more viable for the majority of the region's species that have small dispersal distances, but dispersal between MPA sets and spill-over of individuals into unprotected areas would be reduced. These findings highlight the importance of testing the impact of applying different MPA size constraints because there are clear trade-offs that result from the interaction of size, number, and distribution of MPAs in a network.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/cobi.12571
Uncontrolled keywords: connectivity; Marxan; MinPatch; spatial conservation prioritization; spill-over and export; systematic conservation planning; viability; conectividad; derrame y exportación; Marxan; MinPatch; planeación sistemática de la conservación; priorización de la conservación espacial; viabilidad
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Bob Smith
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2016 09:22 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 10:40 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/54423 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Smith, Robert J.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1599-9171
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