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Reserve sizes needed to protect coral reef fishes


Krueck, NC and Legrand, C and Ahmadia, GN and Estradivari, E and Green, A and Jones, GP and Riginos, C and Treml, EA and Mumby, PJ, Reserve sizes needed to protect coral reef fishes, Conservation Letters, 11, (3) Article 12415. ISSN 1755-263X (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1111/conl.12415


Marine reserves are a commonly applied conservation tool, but their size is often chosen based on considerations of socioeconomic rather than ecological impact. Here, we use a simple individual-based model together with the latest empirical information on home ranges, densities and schooling behaviour in 66 coral reef fishes to quantify the conservation effectiveness of various reserve sizes. We find that standard reserves with a diameter of 1-2 km can achieve partial protection (>=50% of the maximum number of individuals) of 56% of all simulated species. Partial protection of the most important fishery species, and of species with diverse functional roles, required 2-10 km wide reserves. Full protection of nearly all simulated species required 100 km wide reserves. Linear regressions based on the mean home range and density, and even just the maximum length, of fish species approximated these results reliably, and can therefore be used to support locally effective decision making.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:conservation; coral reefs;fisheries management;home range; marine reserve network; marine protected areas; MPAs
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of coastal or estuarine environments
UTAS Author:Krueck, NC (Dr Nils Krueck)
ID Code:142916
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2021-02-16
Last Modified:2022-12-06
Downloads:12 View Download Statistics

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