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No reef is an island: integrating coral reef connectivity data into the design of regional-scale marine protected area networks

Schill, Steven R, Raber, George T, Roberts, Jason J, Treml, Eric A, Brenner, Jorge and Halpin, Patrick N 2015, No reef is an island: integrating coral reef connectivity data into the design of regional-scale marine protected area networks, PLoS one, vol. 10, no. 12, pp. 1-24, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144199.

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Title No reef is an island: integrating coral reef connectivity data into the design of regional-scale marine protected area networks
Author(s) Schill, Steven R
Raber, George T
Roberts, Jason J
Treml, Eric AORCID iD for Treml, Eric A orcid.org/0000-0003-4844-4420
Brenner, Jorge
Halpin, Patrick N
Journal name PLoS one
Volume number 10
Issue number 12
Article ID e0144199
Start page 1
End page 24
Total pages 24
Publisher Public Library of Science
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2015-12-07
ISSN 1932-6203
Keyword(s) animals
Anthozoa
Caribbean region
coral reefs
Gulf of Mexico
larvae
marine conservation
reefs
centrality
marine ecology
conservation science
spawning
Summary We integrated coral reef connectivity data for the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico into a conservation decision-making framework for designing a regional scale marine protected area (MPA) network that provides insight into ecological and political contexts. We used an ocean circulation model and regional coral reef data to simulate eight spawning events from 2008-2011, applying a maximum 30-day pelagic larval duration and 20% mortality rate. Coral larval dispersal patterns were analyzed between coral reefs across jurisdictional marine zones to identify spatial relationships between larval sources and destinations within countries and territories across the region. We applied our results in Marxan, a conservation planning software tool, to identify a regional coral reef MPA network design that meets conservation goals, minimizes underlying threats, and maintains coral reef connectivity. Our results suggest that approximately 77% of coral reefs identified as having a high regional connectivity value are not included in the existing MPA network. This research is unique because we quantify and report coral larval connectivity data by marine ecoregions and Exclusive Economic Zones (EZZ) and use this information to identify gaps in the current Caribbean-wide MPA network by integrating asymmetric connectivity information in Marxan to design a regional MPA network that includes important reef network connections. The identification of important reef connectivity metrics guides the selection of priority conservation areas and supports resilience at the whole system level into the future.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0144199
Field of Research MD Multidisciplinary
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Schill et al.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30107353

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.