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PLoS One. 2014 Aug 1;9(8):e102298. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102298. eCollection 2014.

Marine protected area networks: assessing whether the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Author information

1
Department of Integrative Biology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, United States of America.
2
National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), University of Perpignan, Perpignan cedex, France; Laboratoire d'Excellence 'CORAIL', Perpignan cedex, France.
3
Humboldt State University Marine Laboratory, Trinidad, California, United States of America.
4
Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, United States of America.
5
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Long Marine Lab, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, United States of America.
6
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
7
Department of Biology, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, Hawai'i, United States of America.
8
Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l'Environnement (CRIOBE), Moorea, French Polynesia; Laboratoire d'Excellence 'CORAIL', Perpignan cedex, France.
9
Institute of Marine Sciences, Long Marine Lab, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, United States of America.
10
Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources, Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i, United States of America.

Abstract

Anthropogenic impacts are increasingly affecting the world's oceans. Networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) provide an option for increasing the ecological and economic benefits often provided by single MPAs. It is vital to empirically assess the effects of MPA networks and to prioritize the monitoring data necessary to explain those effects. We summarize the types of MPA networks based on their intended management outcomes and illustrate a framework for evaluating whether a connectivity network is providing an outcome greater than the sum of individual MPA effects. We use an analysis of an MPA network in Hawai'i to compare networked MPAs to non-networked MPAs to demonstrate results consistent with a network effect. We assert that planning processes for MPA networks should identify their intended outcomes while also employing coupled field monitoring-simulation modeling approaches, a powerful way to prioritize the most relevant monitoring data for empirically assessing MPA network performance.

PMID:
25084458
PMCID:
PMC4118840
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0102298
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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