Literature Library

Currently indexing 8126 titles

Watershed- and island wide-scale land cover changes in Puerto Rico (1930s–2004) and their potential effects on coral reef ecosystems

Ramos-Scharrón CE, Torres-Pulliza D, Hernández-Delgado EA. Watershed- and island wide-scale land cover changes in Puerto Rico (1930s–2004) and their potential effects on coral reef ecosystems. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. 2015 ;506-507:241 - 251. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969714015988
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Anthropogenically enhanced delivery of sediments and other land-based sources of pollution represent well-recognized threats to nearshore coral reef communities worldwide. Land cover change is commonly used as a proxy to document human-induced alterations to sediment and pollutant delivery rates to coral reef bearing waters. In this article, land cover change was assessed for a 69-km2 watershed in Puerto Rico between 1936 and 2004 by aerial photograph interpretation. Forests and sugar cane fields predominated from 1936 through the late 1970s, but while cropland dipped to negligible levels by 2004, net forest cover doubled and built-up areas increased tenfold. The watershed-scale land cover changes documented here mimicked those of the entire Puerto Rican landmass. Sediment yield predictions that rely on the sort of land cover changes reported here inevitably result in declining trends, but anecdotal and scientific evidence in the study watershed and throughout Puerto Rico suggests that sediment and pollutant loading rates still remain high and at potentially threatening levels.

The simultaneous reduction in living coral cover that accompanied reforestation and urbanization patterns since the 1970s in our study region is discussed here within the context of the following non-mutually exclusive potential explanations: (a) the inability of land cover change-based assessments to discern spatially-focused, yet highly influential sources of sediment; (b) the potentially secondary role of cropland and forest cover changes in influencing nearshore coral reef conditions relative to other types of stressors like those related to climate change; and (c) the potentially dominant role that urban development may have had in altering marine water quality to the extent of reducing live coral cover. Since identification of the causes for coral reef degradation has proven elusive here and elsewhere, we infer that coral reef management may only be effective when numerous land- and marine-based stressors are simultaneously mitigated.

Representing taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity: new challenges for Mediterranean marine-protected areas

Guilhaumon F, Albouy C, Claudet J, Velez L, Lasram FBen Rais, Tomasini J-A, Douzery EJP, Meynard CN, Mouquet N, Troussellier M, et al. Representing taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity: new challenges for Mediterranean marine-protected areas. Diversity and Distributions [Internet]. 2014 . Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12280/full
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $38.00
Type: Journal Article

Aim

To assess gaps in the representation of taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity among coastal fishes in Mediterranean marine-protected areas (MPAs).

Location

Mediterranean Sea.

Methods

We first assessed gaps in the taxonomic representation of the 340 coastal fish species in Mediterranean MPAs, with representation targets (the species range proportion to be covered by MPAs) set to be inversely proportional to species' range sizes. We then asked whether MPAs favoured representation of phylogenetically and functionally more distinct species or whether there was a tendency to favour less distinctive ones. We finally evaluated the overall conservation effectiveness of the MPAs using a metric that integrates species' phylogenetic and functional relationships and targets achievement. The effectiveness of the MPA system at protecting biodiversity was assessed by comparison of its achievements against a null model obtained by siting current MPAs at random over the study area.

Results

Among the coastal fish species analysed, 16 species were not covered by any MPA. All the remaining species only partially achieved the pre-defined representation target. The current MPA system missed fewer species than expected from siting MPAs at random. However, c. 70% of the species did not achieve better protection in the current MPAs than expected from siting MPAs at random. Functional and evolutionary distinctiveness were weakly correlated with target achievement. The observed coverage of taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity was not different or lower than expected from siting MPAs at random.

Main conclusions

The Mediterranean MPA system falls short in meeting conservation targets for coastal fish taxonomic diversity, phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity. Mediterranean MPAs do not encompass more biodiversity than expected by chance. This study reveals multiple ongoing challenges and calls for regional collaboration for the extension of the Mediterranean system of MPAs to meet international commitments and reduce the ongoing loss of marine biodiversity.

From shouting matches to productive dialogue - establishing stakeholder participation in Polish fisheries governance

Stöhr C, Chabay I. From shouting matches to productive dialogue - establishing stakeholder participation in Polish fisheries governance. International Journal of Sustainable Development [Internet]. 2014 ;17(4):403. Available from: http://www.inderscience.com/info/inarticle.php?artid=65328
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Environmental governance is increasingly turning away from classic top-down hierarchical governance regimes and experimenting with more collaborative forms of governance, e.g., analytic-deliberative participation of resource users. In this paper, we examine the role of the Polish Baltic Sea Fisheries Roundtable as a multi-stakeholder platform in Polish Baltic Sea fisheries governance. The fisheries sector within a country rapidly transitioning from a centrally planned system to (pseudo) market conditions provides an illustrative case in a very difficult context. Employing an action- and learning-based approach, we participated in the initiation and institutionalisation of a process of levelling the playing field and building trust within the fisheries sector in Poland. Using Adler and Birkhoff's collaborative process model for action planning and implementation, we evaluate the approach and outcomes of this project and discuss the results in relation to the existing literature.

Public awareness, concerns, and priorities about anthropogenic impacts on marine environments

Gelcich S, Buckley P, Pinnegar JK, Chilvers J, Lorenzoni I, Terry G, Guerrero M, Castilla JC, Valdebenito A, Duarte CM. Public awareness, concerns, and priorities about anthropogenic impacts on marine environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 2014 ;111(42):15042 - 15047. Available from: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/42/15042
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
Yes
Type: Journal Article

Numerous international bodies have advocated the development of strategies to achieve the sustainability of marine environments. Typically, such strategies are based on information from expert groups about causes of degradation and policy options to address them, but these strategies rarely take into account assessed information about public awareness, concerns, and priorities. Here we report the results of a pan-European survey of public perceptions about marine environmental impacts as a way to inform the formation of science and policy priorities. On the basis of 10,106 responses to an online survey from people in 10 European nations, spanning a diversity of socioeconomic and geographical areas, we examine the public’s informedness and concern regarding marine impacts, trust in different information sources, and priorities for policy and funding. Results show that the level of concern regarding marine impacts is closely associated with the level of informedness and that pollution and overfishing are two areas prioritized by the public for policy development. The level of trust varies greatly among different information sources and is highest for academics and scholarly publications but lower for government or industry scientists. Results suggest that the public perceives the immediacy of marine anthropogenic impacts and is highly concerned about ocean pollution, overfishing, and ocean acidification. Eliciting public awareness, concerns, and priorities can enable scientists and funders to understand how the public relates to marine environments, frame impacts, and align managerial and policy priorities with public demand.

Real-world progress in overcoming the challenges of adaptive spatial planning in marine protected areas

Mills M, Weeks R, Pressey RL, Gleason MG, Eisma-Osorio R-L, Lombard AT, Harris JM, Killmer AB, White A, Morrison TH. Real-world progress in overcoming the challenges of adaptive spatial planning in marine protected areas. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2015 ;181:54 - 63. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320714004091
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Guidelines for spatial planning, including those from integrated coastal management, systematic conservation planning, and marine spatial planning, have conceived planning processes as iterative and adaptive. Adaptive spatial planning is advocated because it allows decisions to be improved with new data, as knowledge accumulates on management within particular contexts, and to fine-tune spatial management arrangements to fit constantly changing social-ecological systems. Yet, to date there have been very few reviews of the process and practice of adaptive spatial planning in real-world contexts. Here we review the theoretical challenges presented in the literature on adaptive spatial planning against 5 case studies of adaptive planning in the marine realm: Kubulau District, Fiji; Southeast Cebu, Philippines; the Great Barrier Reef, Australia; central California, USA; and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Our aim is to assess the extent to which the theoretical challenges have been addressed in practice. We find that none of the case studies analyzed effectively addressed all the challenges of adaptive spatial planning. Differences in legislation, resources, and capacity to undertake adaptive spatial planning mean that each planning process is operated differently in each case study. For example, adaptive spatial planning can occur through a structured and institutionalized approach when resources and government support are available, but it can also operate in a relatively more opportunistic and flexible way if governments are weaker but civil society has strong champions. Although the case studies addressed aspects of adaptive planning, some persistent challenges remain, including scientific gaps regarding triggers for adaptation and unsympathetic institutional and policy contexts and planning cultures. These challenges must be addressed before all the benefits of adaptive spatial planning can be realized.

Quantitative environmental risk assessments in the context of marine spatial management: current approaches and some perspectives

Stelzenmuller V, Fock HO, Gimpel A, Rambo H, Diekmann R, Probst WN, Callies U, Bockelmann F, Neumann H, Kroncke I. Quantitative environmental risk assessments in the context of marine spatial management: current approaches and some perspectives. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2015 ;72(3):1022 - 1042. Available from: http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/72/3/1022.abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine spatial planning (MSP) requires spatially explicit environmental risk assessment (ERA) frameworks with quantitative or probabilistic measures of risk, enabling an evaluation of spatial management scenarios. ERAs comprise the steps of risk identification, risk analysis, and risk evaluation. A review of ERAs in in the context of spatial management revealed a synonymous use of the concepts of risk, vulnerability and impact, a need to account for uncertainty and a lack of a clear link between risk analysis and risk evaluation. In a case study, we addressed some of the identified gaps and predicted the risk of changing the current state of benthic disturbance by bottom trawling due to future MSP measures in the German EEZ of the North Sea. We used a quantitative, dynamic, and spatially explicit approach where we combined a Bayesian belief network with GIS to showcase the steps of risk characterization, risk analysis, and risk evaluation. We distinguished 10 benthic communities and 6 international fishing fleets. The risk analysis produced spatially explicit estimates of benthic disturbance, which was computed as a ratio between relative local mortality by benthic trawling and the recovery potential after a trawl event. Results showed great differences in spatial patterns of benthic disturbance when accounting for different environmental impacts of the respective fleets. To illustrate a risk evaluation process, we simulated a spatial shift of the international effort of two beam trawl fleets, which are affected the most by future offshore wind development. The Bayesian belief network (BN) model was able to predict the proportion of the area where benthic disturbance likely increases. In conclusion, MSP processes should embed ERA frameworks which allow for the integration of multiple risk assessments and the quantification of related risks as well as uncertainties at a common spatial scale.

Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (OMEGA): A Feasibility Study for Wasterwater to Biofuels - Final Project Report

Trent J. Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (OMEGA): A Feasibility Study for Wasterwater to Biofuels - Final Project Report. Moffett Field, California: NASA Ames Research Center; 2012. Available from: http://www.energy.ca.gov/2013publications/CEC-500-2013-143/CEC-500-2013-143.html
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The biofuels community has shown considerable interest in the possibility that microalgae could contribute significantly to providing a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Microalgae species with high growth rates and high yields of oil that can be grown on domestic wastewater using nonarable land could produce biofuel without competing with agriculture. It is difficult to envision where the cultivation facilities would be located to produce the quantity of algae needed for fuels, given that these facilities must be close to wastewater treatment plants to save energy.

Researchers investigated a possible solution called Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae for coastal cities. This system involved growing fast-growing, oil-producing freshwater algae in flexible, inexpensive clear plastic photobioreactors attached to floating docks anchored offshore in naturally or artificially protected bays. Wastewater and carbon dioxide from coastal facilities provided water, nutrients, and carbon. The surrounding seawater controlled the temperature inside the photobioreactors and killed any algae that might escape. The salt gradient between seawater and wastewater created forward osmosis to concentrate nutrients and to facilitate algae harvesting. Both the algae and forward osmosis cleaned the wastewater, removing nutrients as well as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, so-called compounds of emerging concern.

This report provided the results of two years of research into the feasibility of the Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae system in which prototype systems were studied, built, and tested in seawater tanks. A 110-liter floating system was developed and scaled up to 1,600 liters. Algae’s ability to grow on and treat wastewater was described. The impact of biofouling on photobioreactors and forward osmosis membranes floating in the marine environment was considered. Life-cycle and technoeconomic analyses provided a perspective on what must be done to make this system commercially viable. Outreach efforts have carried the concept worldwide. sions from conversion for development.

The assessment of cultural ecosystem services in the marine environment using Q methodology

Pike K, Wright P, Wink B, Fletcher S. The assessment of cultural ecosystem services in the marine environment using Q methodology. Journal of Coastal Conservation [Internet]. 2014 . Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11852-014-0350-z
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Cultural ecosystem services are generally understood to be the non-material value that can be gained through ecosystems such as a sense of well-being, reflection and spiritual enhancement. These are often linked with a sense of place, culture, heritage and identity. The assessment of cultural ecosystem services, particularly in the marine environment is an inherently complex and difficult task, because they often involve making value judgments which can be hard to quantify. Methods applied to determining the value of these services are often focused on their financial value. Whilst methodologies have been developed to assess the non-material importance of these services, this paper argues that Q methodology provides a highly appropriate way of examining unmeasurable values by being able to convert qualitative, subjective data into quantitative information. The research presents two data sets derived from Q methodology which examined stakeholder views of the cultural values from two marine protected areas; the Pacific Rim National Park, Vancouver Island, Canada and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Chichester Harbour, UK. The relevance of using Q methodology as a valuation mechanism in this type of study is examined and justified; whilst highlighting the advantages of tackling a subject of values and intangibility, highly qualitative information, with a structured, semi-automated and primarily quantitative methodology. The findings show that the case-study areas hold three predominant ‘factors’ of value for its stake holders. These include the protected areas; as a place of care for each other and oneself through the natural world; a place of spirituality; and as a place of freedom and refuge. The paper strongly argues for the use of Q methodology in such a study, which ultimately helps to bring about a depth of information that arguably traditional methods are incapable of in the same capacity.

National strategy for the creation and management of marine protected areas [in France]: Summary

Brosseau O ed. National strategy for the creation and management of marine protected areas [in France]: Summary. Ministère de l’Écologie, du Développement durable et de l’Énergie; 2013 p. 24.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

On a national level, the law of 14 April 2006 saw the creation of the Marine Protected Areas Agency and established the first six categories of marine protected areas, including the new category of marine nature park.

The current strategy specifies how France intends to expand its action to develop and manage the network of marine protected areas: objectives, geographical priorities, principles, etc.

Marine Protected Areas Dashboard

Anon. Marine Protected Areas Dashboard. Brest, France: Agence des aires marines protégées; 2014 p. 16. Available from: http://www.aires-marines.fr
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The French Marine Protected Areas Agency was established in 2006, particularly to define and implement an ambitious strategy to create and manage France’s marine protected areas. Developing a national assessment process, the MPA dashboard, is an integral part of this strategy. The first step consists in developing dashboards in each French MPA.

The Agency must be able to assess the effectiveness of MPAs that it manages directly, such as marine nature parks or Natura 2000 sites, and provide technical support for the assessment of MPAs managed by other entities.

Can Facebook be used to increase scientific literacy? A case study of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute Facebook page and ocean literacy

Fauville G, Dupont S, von Thun S, Lundin J. Can Facebook be used to increase scientific literacy? A case study of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute Facebook page and ocean literacy. Computers & Education [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131514002504
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $24.95
Type: Journal Article

The Internet provides a unique opportunity for scientists to be in direct contact with the public in order to promote citizens’ scientific literacy. Recently, Internet users have started to spend most of their online time on social networking sites (SNS). Knowledge of how these SNSs work as an arena for interaction, as well as for the development of scientific literacy, is important to guide scientists’ activities online, and to be able to understand how people develop knowledge of science. This was evaluated by scrutinizing the Facebook page of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the consequences for users’ ocean literacy. We investigated which practices could increase the number of users reached by a Facebook story. We also found that Facebook pages do not offer the appropriate social context to foster participation since it has only a few of the features of an arena where such practices could develop.

Assessing habitat risk from human activities to inform coastal and marine spatial planning: a demonstration in Belize

Arkema KK, Verutes G, Bernhardt JR, Clarke C, Rosado S, Canto M, Wood SA, Ruckelshaus M, Rosenthal A, McField M, et al. Assessing habitat risk from human activities to inform coastal and marine spatial planning: a demonstration in Belize. Environmental Research Letters [Internet]. 2014 ;9(11):114016. Available from: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/11/114016/article
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Integrated coastal and ocean management requires transparent and accessible approaches for understanding the influence of human activities on marine environments. Here we introduce a model for assessing the combined risk to habitats from multiple ocean uses. We apply the model to coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass beds in Belize to inform the design of the country's first Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan. Based on extensive stakeholder engagement, review of existing legislation and data collected from diverse sources, we map the current distribution of coastal and ocean activities and develop three scenarios for zoning these activities in the future. We then estimate ecosystem risk under the current and three future scenarios. Current levels of risk vary spatially among the nine coastal planning regions in Belize. Empirical tests of the model are strong—three-quarters of the measured data for coral reef health lie within the 95% confidence interval of interpolated model data and 79% of the predicted mangrove occurrences are associated with observed responses. The future scenario that harmonizes conservation and development goals results in a 20% reduction in the area of high-risk habitat compared to the current scenario, while increasing the extent of several ocean uses. Our results are a component of the ICZM Plan for Belize that will undergo review by the national legislature in 2015. This application of our model to marine spatial planning in Belize illustrates an approach that can be used broadly by coastal and ocean planners to assess risk to habitats under current and future management scenarios.

Overcoming barriers to knowledge exchange for adaptive resource management; the perspectives of Australian marine scientists

Cvitanovic C, Hobday AJ, van Kerkhoff L, Marshall NA. Overcoming barriers to knowledge exchange for adaptive resource management; the perspectives of Australian marine scientists. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;52:38 - 44. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X14002887
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The sustainable science-based management of natural resources requires knowledge exchange between scientists and environmental decision-makers; however, evidence suggests that information flow is inhibited by a range of barriers. To date, our understanding of the range and importance of factors limiting knowledge exchange between scientists and decision-makers is based primarily on the perceptions of decision-makers, while the perceptions of scientists have been largely overlooked. This study addresses this knowledge gap by quantitatively assessing the perceptions of scientists, represented by a sample of 78 Australian marine scientists, regarding (i) the role and importance of engaging with environmental decision-makers on a personal level, (ii) the role and importance of engaging with environmental decision-makers at the institutional level, (iii) current barriers to engaging with environmental decision-makers and (iv) options for overcoming barriers to engaging with environmental decision-makers. Survey results suggest that Australian marine scientists feel that they have an obligation to engage decision-makers in their science, and that engaging with and communicating to environmental decision-makers is important on a personal level. This study also identifies a range of barriers that impede engagement activities, including inadequate measures of science impact that do not account for engagement activities, a lack of organisational support for engagement activities, insufficient time to conduct engagement activities in addition to other responsibilities and a lack of funding to support engagement activities. To overcome these barriers, participants identified the need for institutional innovation by research institutions, research funders and decision-making agencies alike to promote a culture whereby knowledge exchange activities are legitimised as core business for research scientists, and recognised and rewarded appropriately. Although difficulties exist in implementing such institutional innovations, doing so will improve two-way knowledge exchange among scientists and decision-makers and improve the likely success of environmental management.

BONUS in Brief - November 2014

Tembe T. BONUS in Brief - November 2014 Sirola M. [Internet]. 2014 . Available from: http://www.bonusportal.org/news_room/bonus_in_brief_november_2014_issue_out_now.1499.news
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Newsletter

The focus of the current issue is dedicated to maritime spatial planning featuring a guest column article by the co-chairs of the HELCOM-VASAB Working Group and a considered look of the maritime spatial planning development in the Baltic Sea region

Private incentives for the emergence of co-production of offshore wind energy and mussel aquaculture

Griffin R, Buck B, Krause G. Private incentives for the emergence of co-production of offshore wind energy and mussel aquaculture. Aquaculture [Internet]. 2015 ;436:80 - 89. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0044848614005432
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Technological solutions to increase the efficiency of spatial use can play a key role as part of the toolbox of marine spatial planning. Co-locating of multiple ocean uses can potentially increase the production and enjoyment of the ocean while limiting impacts. However, a basic precondition for co-locating or coproduction is that all parties' private incentives are aligned. We use a case study of co-locating an offshore wind energy firm and a mussel aquaculture firm to assess the incentive structure for cooperation and to demonstrate that social benefits from co-locating exist. We find that there is room for cooperation between firms based on potential cost sharing and that the demonstrated social benefits may arise without government intervention.

A decision-support tool to facilitate discussion of no-take boundaries for Marine Protected Areas during stakeholder consultation processes

Stortini CH, Shackell NL, O’Dor RK. A decision-support tool to facilitate discussion of no-take boundaries for Marine Protected Areas during stakeholder consultation processes. Journal for Nature Conservation [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1617138114000831
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are proposed to help conserve marine biodiversity and ecological integrity. There is much guidance on the optimal design of MPAs but once potential MPAs are identified there is little guidance on defining the final no-take boundaries. This is especially problematic in temperate zones where ecological boundaries are “fuzzy”, which can be quite complicated during a consultation process involving the government and divergent stakeholder groups. More decision-support tools are needed to help stakeholders and government agencies objectively compare conservation and socio-economic trade-offs among proposed boundary options. To that end, we developed a method to identify which boundary minimizes spatial overlap of highly vulnerable species and a dominant stressor. We used the recently proposed boundary options of a candidate MPA in Atlantic Canada to illustrate our method. We evaluated the vulnerability of 23 key species to bottom trawling, the most prevalent stressor in the area. We then compared the spatial overlap of the most vulnerable species and the 2002–2011 footprint of bottom trawling among boundary options. The best boundary option was identified as that which minimized spatial overlap and total area. This approach identifies boundary options which provide the greatest protection of vulnerable species from their most significant stressor, at limited socio-economic cost. It is an objective decision-support tool to help stakeholders agree on final boundaries for MPAs.

Perceptions of Australian marine protected area managers regarding the role, importance, and achievability of adaptation for managing the risks of climate change

Cvitanovic C, Marshall NA, Wilson SK, Dobbs K, Hobday AJ. Perceptions of Australian marine protected area managers regarding the role, importance, and achievability of adaptation for managing the risks of climate change. Ecology and Society [Internet]. 2014 ;19(4). Available from: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol19/iss4/art33/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The rapid development of adaptation as a mainstream strategy for managing the risks of climate change has led to the emergence of a broad range of adaptation policies and management strategies globally. However, the success of such policies or management interventions depends on the effective integration of new scientific research into the decision-making process. Ineffective communication between scientists and environmental decision makers represents one of the key barriers limiting the integration of science into the decision-making process in many areas of natural resource management. This can be overcome by understanding the perceptions of end users, so as to identify knowledge gaps and develop improved and targeted strategies for communication and engagement. We assessed what one group of environmental decision makers, Australian marine protected area (MPA) managers, viewed as the major risks associated with climate change, and their perceptions regarding the role, importance, and achievability of adaptation for managing these risks. We also assessed what these managers perceived as the role of science in managing the risks from climate change, and identified the factors that increased their trust in scientific information. We do so by quantitatively surveying 30 MPA managers across 3 Australian management agencies. We found that although MPA managers have a very strong awareness of the range and severity of risks posed by climate change, their understanding of adaptation as an option for managing these risks is less comprehensive. We also found that although MPA managers view science as a critical source of information for informing the decision-making process, it should be considered in context with other knowledge types such as community and cultural knowledge, and be impartial, evidence based, and pragmatic in outlining policy and management recommendations that are realistically achievable.

Assessing the Economic Benefits of Reductions in Marine Debris: A Pilot Study of Beach Recreation in Orange County, California

Leggett C, Scherer N, Curry M, Bailey R, Haab T. Assessing the Economic Benefits of Reductions in Marine Debris: A Pilot Study of Beach Recreation in Orange County, California. Cambridge, MA: Industrial Economics, Incorporated; 2014. Available from: http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/research/new-economic-study-shows-marine-debris-costs-california-residents-millions-dollars
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Marine debris is preventable, and the benefits associated with preventing it appear to be quite large. For example, the study found that reducing marine debris by 50 percent at beaches in Orange County could generate $67 million in benefits to Orange County residents for a three-month period. Given the enormous popularity of beach recreation throughout the United States, the magnitude of recreational losses associated with marine debris has the potential to be substantial.

To estimate the potential economic losses associated with marine debris, we focused on Orange County, California. We selected this location because beach recreation is an important part of the local culture and residents have a wide variety of beaches from which to choose, some of which are likely to have high levels of marine debris.

We developed a travel cost model that economists commonly use to estimate the value people derive from recreation at beaches, lakes, and parks. We collected data on 31 beaches, including some sites in Los Angeles County and San Diego County, where Orange County residents could choose to visit during the summer of 2013. At each of the 31 beaches, we collected information on beach characteristics, including amenities and measurements of marine debris. Plastic debris and food wrappers were the most abundant debris types observed across all sites. Then, we surveyed residents on their beach activities and preferences through a general population mail survey.

The mail survey data, beach characteristics, and travel costs were then incorporated in the model, and we were able to estimate how various changes to marine debris levels could influence economic losses to this area. The model is flexible in that it allowed us to simulate various levels of debris along these beaches (a percent reduction), from 0-100 percent, and generate economic benefits associated with those different reductions.

Behavioural foundation of response policies for ecosystem management: What can we learn from Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)

Kumar P, Kumar M, Garrett L. Behavioural foundation of response policies for ecosystem management: What can we learn from Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). Ecosystem Services [Internet]. 2014 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041614001211
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $31.50
Type: Journal Article

The paper evaluates response policies for the management of ecosystem services. It specifically focuses on the implementation of economic response policies and the growing popularity of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). Critical aspects of PES are reviewed, such as the measurement of ecosystem services, the valuation of additional services, accountability and trust. This emphasised the importance to include social and cultural contexts of transaction and economic valuation in the design and implementation of PES initiatives. We discuss some of the factors that constrain the use of PES where mediating institutions are not readily available. Finally, the paper highlights elements of the design and implementation of PES schemes that can improve its practical application.

Long-term ecosystem change in the western north pacific inferred from commercial fisheries and top predator diet

Yonezaki S, Kiyota M, Okamura H. Long-term ecosystem change in the western north pacific inferred from commercial fisheries and top predator diet. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096706451400304X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Assessment of the current status of marine ecosystems is necessary for the sustainable utilization of ecosystem services through fisheries and other human activities under changing environmental conditions. Understanding of historical changes in marine ecosystems can help us to assess their current status. In this study, we analyzed Japanese commercial fishery catch data and scientific survey data of the diet of northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus, NFS) to investigate potential long-term ecosystem changes in the western North Pacific Ocean off northeastern Japan over the past 60 years. Total commercial catches experienced peaks around 1960 and during the 1980s, decreasing to low levels around 1970 and after 1990. Catches were substantively impacted by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Species composition of the commercial catch changed over time, resulting in changes in the mean trophic level (MTL) of the catches. Trends in observed commercial catches were affected by many factors, including species population fluctuations potentially related to large-scale environmental shifts, migration and distribution patterns of species related to local oceanography, changes in fishing technology, and the introduction of fishery management frameworks. The composition of NFS diet also changed over time: although overall changes were small, MTL derived from NFS stomach contents declined from the early 1970s to the late 1980s. This fall in the MTL of the diet of NFS is suggestive of a shift in pelagic fish fauna from a “mackerel-dominant regime” to a “sardine-dominant regime”. Inconsistencies between changes in species composition and MTLs of the commercial catch and NFS diet resulted from differences in commercial fishing targeting and NFS foraging behavior strategies. Although commercial catch is a valuable source of information for investigating historical changes in fisheries, biological resources, and ecosystems, catch data should be interpreted carefully and other relevant information available should also be considered.

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