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Green A.L.,West End University College | Green A.L.,James Cook University | Maypa A.P.,Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation | Almany G.R.,CNRS Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory | And 7 more authors.
Biological Reviews | Year: 2015

Well-designed and effectively managed networks of marine reserves can be effective tools for both fisheries management and biodiversity conservation. Connectivity, the demographic linking of local populations through the dispersal of individuals as larvae, juveniles or adults, is a key ecological factor to consider in marine reserve design, since it has important implications for the persistence of metapopulations and their recovery from disturbance. For marine reserves to protect biodiversity and enhance populations of species in fished areas, they must be able to sustain focal species (particularly fishery species) within their boundaries, and be spaced such that they can function as mutually replenishing networks whilst providing recruitment subsidies to fished areas. Thus the configuration (size, spacing and location) of individual reserves within a network should be informed by larval dispersal and movement patterns of the species for which protection is required. In the past, empirical data regarding larval dispersal and movement patterns of adults and juveniles of many tropical marine species have been unavailable or inaccessible to practitioners responsible for marine reserve design. Recent empirical studies using new technologies have also provided fresh insights into movement patterns of many species and redefined our understanding of connectivity among populations through larval dispersal. Our review of movement patterns of 34 families (210 species) of coral reef fishes demonstrates that movement patterns (home ranges, ontogenetic shifts and spawning migrations) vary among and within species, and are influenced by a range of factors (e.g. size, sex, behaviour, density, habitat characteristics, season, tide and time of day). Some species move <0.1-0.5 km (e.g. damselfishes, butterflyfishes and angelfishes), <0.5-3 km (e.g. most parrotfishes, goatfishes and surgeonfishes) or 3-10 km (e.g. large parrotfishes and wrasses), while others move tens to hundreds (e.g. some groupers, emperors, snappers and jacks) or thousands of kilometres (e.g. some sharks and tuna). Larval dispersal distances tend to be <5-15 km, and self-recruitment is common. Synthesising this information allows us, for the first time, to provide species, specific advice on the size, spacing and location of marine reserves in tropical marine ecosystems to maximise benefits for conservation and fisheries management for a range of taxa. We recommend that: (i) marine reserves should be more than twice the size of the home range of focal species (in all directions), thus marine reserves of various sizes will be required depending on which species require protection, how far they move, and if other effective protection is in place outside reserves; (ii) reserve spacing should be <15 km, with smaller reserves spaced more closely; and (iii) marine reserves should include habitats that are critical to the life history of focal species (e.g. home ranges, nursery grounds, migration corridors and spawning aggregations), and be located to accommodate movement patterns among these. We also provide practical advice for practitioners on how to use this information to design, evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of marine reserve networks within broader ecological, socioeconomic and management contexts. © 2014 The Nature Conservancy.

Magdaong E.T.,Hokkaido University | Fujii M.,Hokkaido University | Yamano H.,Japan National Institute of Environmental Studies | Licuanan W.Y.,De La Salle University - Manila | And 6 more authors.
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2014

Although coral declines have been reported from major reefs of the world, region-specific trends still remain unclear, particularly in areas with high diversity such as the Philippines. We assessed the temporal patterns of the magnitude and trajectory of coral cover change in the Philippines using survey data collected from 317 sites. We examined the rate of change in coral cover in relation to time, effects of bleaching and protection against fishing and assessed the efficacy of marine protected areas (MPAs) using meta-analysis. Results showed an overall increase in coral cover in the Philippines from 1981 to 2010. Protection from fishing contributed to the overall increase in the mean annual rate of change as the coral cover significantly increased within MPAs than outside. The significant differences in the rate of coral cover change through time were influenced by chronic anthropogenic stresses, coinciding with the timing of thermal stress and the establishment of MPAs. The rate of change in coral cover was independent of the level of protection and the age and size of MPA. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Fidler R.Y.,Florida Institute of Technology | Maypa A.,Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation | Maypa A.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Apistar D.,Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation | And 2 more authors.
Biology | Year: 2014

As a consequence of intense fishing pressure, fished populations experience reduced population sizes and shifts in body size toward the predominance of smaller and early maturing individuals. Small, early-maturing fish exhibit significantly reduced reproductive output and, ultimately, reduced fitness. As part of resource management and biodiversity conservation programs worldwide, no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) are expected to ameliorate the adverse effects of fishing pressure. In an attempt to advance our understanding of how coral reef MPAs meet their long-term goals, this study used visual census data from 23 MPAs and fished reefs in the Philippines to address three questions: (1) Do MPAs promote shifts in fish body size frequency distribution towards larger body sizes when compared to fished reefs? (2) Do MPA size and (3) age contribute to the efficacy of MPAs in promoting such shifts? This study revealed that across all MPAs surveyed, the distribution of fishes between MPAs and fished reefs were similar; however, large-bodied fish were more abundant within MPAs, along with small, young-of-the-year individuals. Additionally, there was a significant shift in body size frequency distribution towards larger body sizes in 12 of 23 individual reef sites surveyed. Of 22 fish families, eleven demonstrated significantly different body size frequency distributions between MPAs and fished reefs, indicating that shifts in the size spectrum of fishes in response to protection are family-specific. Family-level shifts demonstrated a significant, positive correlation with MPA age, indicating that MPAs become more effective at increasing the density of large-bodied fish within their boundaries over time. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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