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Critical research needs for managing coral reef marine protected areas: perspectives of academics and managers


Cvitanovic, C and Wilson, SK and Fulton, CJ and Almany, GR and Anderson, P and Babcock, RC and Ban, NC and Beeden, RJ and Beger, M and Cinner, J and Dobbs, K and Evans, LS and Farnham, A and Friedman, KJ and Gale, K and Gladstone, W and Grafton, Q and Graham, NAJ and Gudge, S and Harrison, PL and Holmes, TH and Johnstone, N and Jones, GP and Jordan, A and Kendrick, AJ and Klein, CJ and Little, LR and Malcolm, HA and Morris, D and Possingham, HP and Prescott, J and Pressey, RL and Skilleter, GA and Simpson, C and Waples, K and Wilson, D and Williamson, DH, Critical research needs for managing coral reef marine protected areas: perspectives of academics and managers, Journal of Environmental Management, 114 pp. 84-91. ISSN 0301-4797 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.10.051


Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a primary policy instrument for managing and protecting coral reefs. Successful MPAs ultimately depend on knowledge-based decision making, where scientific research is integrated into management actions. Fourteen coral reef MPA managers and sixteen academics from eleven research, state and federal government institutions each outlined at least five pertinent research needs for improving the management of MPAs situated in Australian coral reefs. From this list of 173 key questions, we asked members of each group to rank questions in order of urgency, redundancy and importance, which allowed us to explore the extent of perceptional mismatch and overlap among the two groups. Our results suggest the mismatch among MPA managers and academics is small, with no significant difference among the groups in terms of their respective research interests, or the type of questions they pose. However, managers prioritised spatial management and monitoring as research themes, whilst academics identified climate change, resilience, spatial management, fishing and connectivity as the most important topics. Ranking of the posed questions by the two groups was also similar, although managers were less confident about the achievability of the posed research questions and whether questions represented a knowledge gap. We conclude that improved collaboration and knowledge transfer among management and academic groups can be used to achieve similar objectives and enhance the knowledge-based management of MPAs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:knowledge exchange, coral reefs
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Cvitanovic, C (Dr Christopher Cvitanovic)
ID Code:105187
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:40
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-12-12
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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