Global Analysis of the Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas in Preventing Coral Loss

Abstract:  A variety of human activities have led to the recent global decline of reef-building corals. The ecological, social, and economic value of coral reefs has made them an international conservation priority. The success of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in restoring fish populations has led to optimism that they could also benefit corals by indirectly reducing threats like overfishing, which cause coral degradation and mortality. However, the general efficacy of MPAs in increasing coral reef resilience has never been tested.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We compiled a global database of 8534 live coral cover surveys from 1969–2006 to compare annual changes in coral cover inside 310 MPAs to unprotected areas. We found that on average, coral cover within MPAs remained constant, while coral cover on unprotected reefs declined. Although the short-term differences between unprotected and protected reefs are modest, they could be significant over the long-term if the effects are temporally consistent. Our results also suggest that older MPAs were generally more effective in preventing coral loss. Initially, coral cover continued to decrease after MPA establishment. Several years later, however, rates of coral cover decline slowed and then stabilized so that further losses stopped.

Conclusions/Significance

These findings suggest that MPAs can be a useful tool not only for fisheries management, but also for maintaining coral cover. Furthermore, the benefits of MPAs appear to increase with the number of years since MPA establishment. Given the time needed to maximize MPA benefits, there should be increased emphasis on implementing new MPAs and strengthening the enforcement of existing MPAs.

Read full article here

Citation: Selig ER, Bruno JF (2010) A Global Analysis of the Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas in Preventing Coral Loss. PLoS ONE 5(2): e9278. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009278

Advertisements
Comments
One Response to “Global Analysis of the Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas in Preventing Coral Loss”
Trackbacks
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Global Analysis of the Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas in Preventing Coral Loss […]



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Listed

    Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory Blog Directory Subscribe with Bloglines Environmental Activism Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Online Marketing ToplistOnToplist Analytics is brought to you by praca
    Add blog to our directory.
%d bloggers like this: