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Accommodating dynamic oceanographic processes and pelagic biodiversity in marine conservation planning


Grantham, HS and Game, ET and Lombard, AT and Hobday, AJ and Richardson, AJ and Beckley, LE and Pressey, RL and Huggett, JA and Coetzee, JC and van der Lingen, CD and Petersen, SL and Merkle, D and Possingham, HP, Accommodating dynamic oceanographic processes and pelagic biodiversity in marine conservation planning, PLoS ONE, 6, (2) Article e16552. ISSN 1932-6203 (2011) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Grantham et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016552


Pelagic ecosystems support a significant and vital component of the ocean's productivity and biodiversity. They are also heavily exploited and, as a result, are the focus of numerous spatial planning initiatives. Over the past decade, there has been increasing enthusiasm for protected areas as a tool for pelagic conservation, however, few have been implemented. Here we demonstrate an approach to plan protected areas that address the physical and biological dynamics typical of the pelagic realm. Specifically, we provide an example of an approach to planning protected areas that integrates pelagic and benthic conservation in the southern Benguela and Agulhas Bank ecosystems off South Africa. Our aim was to represent species of importance to fisheries and species of conservation concern within protected areas. In addition to representation, we ensured that protected areas were designed to consider pelagic dynamics, characterized from time-series data on key oceanographic processes, together with data on the abundance of small pelagic fishes. We found that, to have the highest likelihood of reaching conservation targets, protected area selection should be based on time-specific data rather than data averaged across time. More generally, we argue that innovative methods are needed to conserve ephemeral and dynamic pelagic biodiversity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:benthos, community dynamics, conservation biology, environmental planning
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hobday, AJ (Dr Alistair Hobday)
ID Code:119914
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:56
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-08-07
Last Modified:2017-09-20
Downloads:134 View Download Statistics

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