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Gerber L.R.,Arizona State University | Del Mar Mancha-Cisneros M.,Arizona State University | O'connor M.I.,University of British Columbia | Selig E.R.,Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans
Ecosphere | Year: 2014

Effective spatial management in the ocean requires a network of conservation areas that are connected by larval and adult dispersal. We propose a conceptual framework for including the likely impacts of a changing climate on marine connectivity, and synthesize information on the relationships between changing ocean temperature and acidification, connectivity and conservation tools. Our framework relies on concepts of functional connectivity, which depends on an organism's biological and behavioral responses to the physical environment, and structural connectivity, which describes changes in the physical and spatial structure of the environment that affect connectivity and movement. Our review confirms that ocean climate change likely reduces potential dispersal distance and therefore functional connectivity. Structural connectivity in the ocean will inevitably change with the spatial arrangement of biogenic habitats resulting from disturbance as well as enhanced growth and mortality due to climate change. Climate change will also likely reduce the spatial scale of connectivity, suggesting that we will need more closely spaced protected areas. © 2014 Gerber et al. Source

Cornu E.L.,Stanford University | Cornu E.L.,Montpellier University | Kittinger J.N.,Stanford University | Kittinger J.N.,Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans | And 3 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2014

Coastal and ocean planning comprises a broad field of practice. The goals, political processes, and approaches applied to planning initiatives may vary widely. However, all planning processes ultimately require adequate information on both the biophysical and social attributes of a planning region. In coastal and ocean planning practice, there are well-established methods to assess biophysical attributes; however, less is understood about the role and assessment of social data. We conducted the first global assessment of the incorporation of social data in coastal and ocean planning. We drew on a comprehensive review of planning initiatives and a survey of coastal and ocean practitioners. There was significantly more incorporation of social data in multiuse versus conservation-oriented planning. Practitioners engaged a wide range of social data, including governance, economic, and cultural attributes of planning regions and human impacts data. Less attention was given to ecosystem services and social-ecological linkages, both of which could improve coastal and ocean planning practice. Although practitioners recognize the value of social data, little funding is devoted to its collection and incorporation in plans. Increased capacity and sophistication in acquiring critical social and ecological data for planning is necessary to develop plans for more resilient coastal and ocean ecosystems and communities. We suggest that improving social data monitoring, and in particular spatial social data, to complement biophysical data, is necessary for providing holistic information for decision-support tools and other methods. Moving beyond people as impacts to people as beneficiaries, through ecosystem services assessments, holds much potential to better incorporate the tenets of ecosystem-based management into coastal and ocean planning by providing targets for linked biodiversity conservation and human welfare outcomes. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology. Source

Myers S.S.,Harvard University | Gaffikin L.,CA Technologies | Golden C.D.,Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Ostfeld R.S.,Harvard University | And 4 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2013

Human activity is rapidly transforming most of Earth's natural systems. How this transformation is impacting human health, whose health is at greatest risk, and the magnitude of the associated disease burden are relatively new subjects within the field of environmental health. We discuss what is known about the human health implications of changes in the structure and function of natural systems and propose that these changes are affecting human health in a variety of important ways.We identify several gaps and limitations in the research that has been done to date and propose a more systematic and comprehensive approach to applied research in this field. Such efforts could lead to a more robust understanding of the human health impacts of accelerating environmental change and inform decision making in the land-use planning, environmental conservation, and public health policy realms. Source

Jouffray J.-B.,Royal Swedish Academy Of Sciences | Jouffray J.-B.,University of Stockholm | Nystrom M.,University of Stockholm | Norstrom A.V.,University of Stockholm | And 5 more authors.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2015

Loss of coral reef resilience can lead to dramatic changes in benthic structure, often called regime shifts, which significantly alter ecosystem processes and functioning. In the face of global change and increasing direct human impacts, there is an urgent need to anticipate and prevent undesirable regime shifts and, conversely, to reverse shifts in already degraded reef systems. Such challenges require a better understanding of the human and natural drivers that support or undermine different reef regimes. The Hawaiian archipelago extends across a wide gradient of natural and anthropogenic conditions and provides us a unique opportunity to investigate the relationships between multiple reef regimes, their dynamics and potential drivers. We applied a combination of exploratory ordination methods and inferential statistics to one of the most comprehensive coral reef datasets available in order to detect, visualize and define potential multiple ecosystem regimes. This study demonstrates the existence of three distinct reef regimes dominated by hard corals, turf algae or macroalgae. Results from boosted regression trees show nonlinear patterns among predictors that help to explain the occurrence of these regimes, and highlight herbivore biomass as the key driver in addition to effluent, latitude and depth. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Source

Ayers A.L.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Kittinger J.N.,Stanford University | Kittinger J.N.,Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2014

Governance failures associated with top-down management have spawned a myriad of institutional arrangements to engage resource users in decision-making through co-management. Although co-management can take many forms and may not always lead to positive outcomes, it has emerged as a promising governance option available to meet social and ecological goals. Recent research on co-management of small-scale fisheries has used comparative approaches to test factors associated with social and ecological success. Less is known however, about how co-management institutional arrangements emerge and persist in the face of socioeconomic and environmental change. Here, we examine the emergence of co-management governance using a case study from coral reef fisheries in the Hawaiian Islands. We used a mixed methods approach, combining a robust policy analysis and a set of key respondent interviews to trace the evolution of this co-management arrangement. Our research uncovers a set of linked drivers and social responses, which together comprise the emergence phase for the evolution of co-management in this case study. Drivers include resource depletion and conflict, and social responses comprise self-organization, consensus building, and collective action. We share insights on key factors that affect these phases of emergence, drawing on empirical findings from our policy review and key respondent interviews. We conclude by describing ways that our findings can directly inform policy and planning in practice, including the importance of documenting the 'creation story' that spawned the new institutional arrangement, ensuring that enabling conditions are present, the complexity of defining community, the connection between process legitimacy and outcomes, and understanding the costs and timelines associated with co-management governance transitions. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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