How to select networks of marine protected areas for multiple species with different dispersal strategies.

Jonsson, Per R., Nilsson Jacobi, Martin, Moksnes, Per-Olav and Beaumont, Linda (2015) How to select networks of marine protected areas for multiple species with different dispersal strategies. Diversity and Distributions, 22 (2). pp. 161-173. DOI 10.1111/ddi.12394.

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Abstract

Aim:
To develop and test theory based on connectivity to identify optimal networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) that protect multiple species with a range of dispersal strategies.
Location:
The eastern North Sea in the Atlantic Ocean.
Methods:
Theory of finding optimal MPA network is based on eigenvalue perturbation theory applied to population connectivity. Previous theory is here extended to the persistence of multiple species by solving a maximization problem with constraints, which identifies an optimal consensus network of MPAs. The theory is applied to two test cases within a 120,000 km2 area in the North Sea where connectivity was estimated with a biophysical model. In a realistic case, the theory is applied to the protection of rocky-reef habitats, where the biophysical model is parameterized with realistic dispersal traits for key species. Theoretical predictions of optimal networks were validated with a simple metapopulation model. Persistence of optimal consensus MPA networks is compared to randomly selected networks as well as to the existing MPA network.
Results:
Despite few overlapping MPA sites for the optimal networks based on single dispersal strategies, the consensus network for multiple dispersal strategies performed well for 3 of 4 contrasting strategies even without user-defined constraints. In the test with five realistic dispersal strategies, representing a community on threatened rocky reefs, the consensus network performed equally well compared to solutions for single species. Different dispersal strategies were also protected jointly across the MPA network (93% of sites), in contrast to simulations of the existing MPA network (2% of sites). Consensus networks based on connectivity were significantly more efficient compared to existing MPAs.
Main conclusions:
Our findings suggest that the new theoretic framework can identify a consensus MPA network that protects a whole community containing species with multiple dispersal strategies.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: connectivity; conservation biology; dispersal; eigenvalue perturbation; larval ecology; marine protected area
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1111/ddi.12394
ISSN: 1366-9516
Projects: BONUS BIO-C3
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2016 09:09
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 09:09
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/31562

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