Literature Library

Currently indexing 8050 titles

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.

Stopping the disastrous embankments of coastal wetlands by implementing effective management principles: Yellow Sea and Korea compared to the European Wadden Sea

Koh C-H, de Jonge VN. Stopping the disastrous embankments of coastal wetlands by implementing effective management principles: Yellow Sea and Korea compared to the European Wadden Sea. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2014 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569114003445
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

The large-scale dimension of wetland reclamations in the wider Yellow Sea region is reviewed with particular emphasis on the Korean coast, followed by positioning the current protection strategy of the Korean tidal wetlands in a multi-dimensional protection framework as established in the ecosystem based management of the Wadden Sea in northwestern Europe. While roughly half of the Korean tidal flats (∼2400 km2 from the 1970s through the 2000s) have been embanked, only a fragmented total of ∼220 km2 has received protection status. In the Wadden Sea also about one half of the coastal wetlands had been embanked. However, this long history came to an end in the 1980s, and almost all remaining wetlands are under high protection status, now designated as a World Heritage Site. Prior to the designation of the Getbol (in Korean meaning an extensive mud flat) Protected Areas (GPAs) field surveys under the Korean Survey and Monitoring Program (SMP) were performed to archive an inventory of the available tidal wetlands. After the designation of a GPA, monitoring for that area was commenced under the SMP. Sediment composition and macrozoobenthos received particular attention in the surveys in terms of parameters and frequency. While the Korean SMP aims to carry out inventories, the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Program (TMAP) in the Wadden Sea aims to identify spatio-temporal changes in habitats and selected species populations. The current Korean GPAs are exclusively designated to tidal flats. In contrast to the Wadden Sea, where the protected area consists of salt marshes, tidal flats and the adjacent shallow waters, there is poor awareness of the significant role of the tidal channels in the functioning of the Getbol ecosystem. Broadening the current GPAs to a comprehensive ecosystem entity to ensure natural development, is the next challenge. Following the ‘success story’ of the Wadden Sea, the Korean tidal wetlands should be designated as one integral protected area. A supposed offshore boundary for the arrangement of a full scale ecosystem unit is proposed here as a leverage point for the future protection of what can be called then the Korean ‘Getbol Sea’. The Korean SMP is advised to incorporate the habitat classification and to improve the monitoring and its frequency, methodologically as well as financially, without losing the overall assessment. Scaling up the sciencepolicy interactions via policy-making processes is strongly recommended. As in the Wadden Sea, we further suggest international cooperation in the protection of all coastal wetlands in the entire Yellow Sea region.

Diversifying the use of tuna to improve food security and public health in Pacific Island countries and territories

Bell JD, Allain V, Allison EH, Andréfouët S, Andrew NL, Batty MJ, Blanc M, Dambacher JM, Hampton J, Hanich Q, et al. Diversifying the use of tuna to improve food security and public health in Pacific Island countries and territories. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;51:584 - 591. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X1400267X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The large tuna resources of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean are delivering great economic benefits to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) through sale of licences to distant water fishing nations and employment in fish processing. However, tuna needs to contribute to Pacific Island societies in another important way—by increasing local access to the fish required for good nutrition to help combat the world’s highest levels of diabetes and obesity. Analyses reported here demonstrate that coastal fisheries in 16 of the 22 PICTs will not provide the fish recommended for good nutrition of growing Pacific Island populations, and that by 2020 tuna will need to supply 12% of the fish required by PICTs for food security, increasing to 25% by 2035. In relative terms, the percentages of the region’s tuna catch that will be needed in 2020 and 2035 to fill the gap in domestic fish supply are small, i.e., 2.1% and 5.9% of the average present-day industrial catch, respectively. Interventions based on expanding the use of nearshore fish aggregating devices (FADs) to assist small-scale fishers catch tuna, distributing small tuna and bycatch offloaded by industrial fleets at regional ports, and improving access to canned tuna for inland populations, promise to increase access to fish for sustaining the health of the region’s growing populations. The actions, research and policies required to implement these interventions effectively, and the investments needed to maintain the stocks underpinning the considerable socio-economic benefits that flow from tuna, are described.

Phenology shifts in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) due to changes in sea surface temperature

Neeman N, Robinson NJ, Paladino FV, Spotila JR, O'Connor MP. Phenology shifts in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) due to changes in sea surface temperature. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology [Internet]. 2015 ;462:113 - 120. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022098114002809
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Sea turtles have responded to climate change in the past, but it is unclear whether they will be able to respond to the unprecedented rate of anthropogenic climate change. One way to respond would be altering the timing of their nesting to align with changes in temperature, which may lead to altered incubation conditions, hatching success, sex ratios, and hatchling dispersal. This study aims to determine whether the timing of the nesting season for three populations of leatherback turtles (Playa Grande, Costa Rica; Tortuguero, Costa Rica; and St. Croix, US Virgin Islands) vary with (and putatively in response to) sea surface temperatures at either their nesting or foraging grounds, as a proxy for how they would respond to warming trends. Several candidate temperatures were examined at the foraging grounds: annual maximum and minimum of the year prior to nesting and month in which turtles were estimated to leave their foraging grounds. At the nesting grounds, candidate temperatures were: temperatures at the start of nesting and over the whole season as well as a measure of seasonality at the foraging grounds. Seasonality at the foraging grounds and temperatures at the nesting beaches do not affect nesting phenology, while temperatures at some foraging grounds do. Different temperature signals appeared related to nesting at different foraging grounds as was the direction in which these increased temperatures shifted nesting, suggesting that there might be a mediating factor explaining the temperature effect. The relationship between temperature and primary production at the foraging grounds was studied to explain these differences but no consistent relation was found. The overall pattern is that increased temperatures at the foraging grounds tend to delay nesting, which is different from previous studies for other species of sea turtles that show earlier nesting with increased temperatures either at nesting or foraging grounds. Further study is needed at the nesting beaches to determine how environmental conditions change within the season and how these changes affect nesting success. It will then be possible to predict what temperature, humidity, and currents will look like in the new, shifted nesting seasons and how that will affect hatching success, sex ratios, and hatchling dispersal; i.e., will delayed nesting seasons help mitigate climate change effects on these populations or exacerbate them?

Dark green electricity comes from the sea: Capitalizing on ecological merits of offshore wind power?

Toonen HM, Lindeboom HJ. Dark green electricity comes from the sea: Capitalizing on ecological merits of offshore wind power?. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews [Internet]. 2015 ;42:1023 - 1033. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032114008685
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

European consumers are willing to pay more for “green” electricity, as they highly value renewable energy sources for the contribution to combating climate change. There is a push for getting higher levels of sustainability, leading to a differentiation of Europe‘s electricity market. In this differentiation, the large potential of wind energy is recognized. More specifically, North Sea countries prefer to plan wind arrays (far) out at sea. This article offers a review of the main arguments for offshore wind energy, described in comparison with its onshore counterpart. It is stated that offshore wind farms (OWFs) generate “dark green” electricity as they mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the protection of (some) marine life. Applying an informational governance framework, this article further assesses whether this dark green message has been exploited through further differentiation of the electricity market, and provides an analysis of why this is not (yet) the case. It is concluded that the dominant discourse in onshore wind power development hinders a favorable ecological differentiation toward offshore wind power.

Assessing the benefits of Transboundary Protected Areas: A questionnaire survey in the Americas and the Caribbean

McCallum JW, Vasilijević M, Cuthill I. Assessing the benefits of Transboundary Protected Areas: A questionnaire survey in the Americas and the Caribbean. Journal of Environmental Management [Internet]. 2015 ;149:245 - 252. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479714005039
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There are more than 3000 protected areas (PAs) situated on or near international boundaries, and amongst them there is an increasing trend towards the establishment of transboundary cooperation initiatives. Proponents of Transboundary PAs (TBPAs) highlight the potential for biodiversity protection through spatial, management and socio-economic benefits. However, there have been few formal studies that assess these benefits. It is possible that the relaxation of boundary controls to optimise transboundary connectivity may increase the risk of impacts from invasive species or illegal human incursion. We sought to investigate the validity of these proposed benefits and potential risks through a questionnaire survey of 113 PAs, of which 39 responded and met our inclusion criteria. 82% felt that transboundary cooperation has benefits for biodiversity and, across PAs, the self-reported level of transboundary communication was positively associated with some improved spatial, management and socio-economic benefits. However, 26% of PAs reported that they never communicated with their internationally adjoining protected area, indicating unrealised potential for greater gains.

Accuracy and precision of fishery and demographic estimates from a spatial tag-recovery model when inter-regional movements are treated as fixed

Vandergoot CS, Brenden TO. Accuracy and precision of fishery and demographic estimates from a spatial tag-recovery model when inter-regional movements are treated as fixed. Fisheries Research [Internet]. 2015 ;164:8 - 25. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165783614002987
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

We used stochastic simulations to evaluate accuracy and precision of parameter estimates from spatial tag-recovery models under different combinations of high- and low-reward tagging levels, allocations of tags to different age groups, and patterns in age-specific natural mortalities. Our evaluations were based on Lake Erie walleye (Sander vitreus), which exhibit complex spatial structuring and support economically important recreational and commercial fisheries. In conducting our evaluations, we assumed inter-regional movements of tagged individuals could be treated as fixed (i.e., known) values. Accuracy and precision of parameter estimates generally stabilized at the mid-range tagging levels that were evaluated, suggesting limited gains would result from tagging more fish. Tag-allocation designs did not have large influences on accuracies of fishing mortalities, selectivities, and reporting rates, but accuracies of natural mortality estimates were sensitive to different designs. A skewed tag-allocation design most often had the best level of accuracy for age-5 and older natural mortalities, whereas proportional and balanced designs most often had the best level of accuracy for age-2 and 3 and age-4 natural mortalities, respectively. Results were far from being consistent, however, with other allocation designs sometimes exhibiting better performance under different factor-level combinations. These same tag-allocation designs resulted in the best precision for natural mortalities for these same age groups and in this regard results were consistent (i.e., did not vary by factor-level combinations). Our simulations help to understand how accuracy and precision of estimates from spatial tag-recovery models can vary with different design features of tagging studies and should provide beneficial insight for designing tagging studies for spatially structured fish populations.

Spatial Structure and Distribution of Small Pelagic Fish in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea

Saraux C, Fromentin J-M, Bigot J-L, Bourdeix J-H, Morfin M, Roos D, Van Beveren E, Bez N. Spatial Structure and Distribution of Small Pelagic Fish in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(11):e111211. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0111211
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Understanding the ecological and anthropogenic drivers of population dynamics requires detailed studies on habitat selection and spatial distribution. Although small pelagic fish aggregate in large shoals and usually exhibit important spatial structure, their dynamics in time and space remain unpredictable and challenging. In the Gulf of Lions (north-western Mediterranean), sardine and anchovy biomasses have declined over the past 5 years causing an important fishery crisis while sprat abundance rose. Applying geostatistical tools on scientific acoustic surveys conducted in the Gulf of Lions, we investigated anchovy, sardine and sprat spatial distributions and structures over 10 years. Our results show that sardines and sprats were more coastal than anchovies. The spatial structure of the three species was fairly stable over time according to variogram outputs, while year-to-year variations in kriged maps highlighted substantial changes in their location. Support for the McCall's basin hypothesis (covariation of both population density and presence area with biomass) was found only in sprats, the most variable of the three species. An innovative method to investigate species collocation at different scales revealed that globally the three species strongly overlap. Although species often co-occurred in terms of presence/absence, their biomass density differed at local scale, suggesting potential interspecific avoidance or different sensitivity to local environmental characteristics. Persistent favourable areas were finally detected, but their environmental characteristics remain to be determined.

Timing of the Departure of Ocean Biogeochemical Cycles from the Preindustrial State

Christian JR. Timing of the Departure of Ocean Biogeochemical Cycles from the Preindustrial State. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(11):e109820. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0109820
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Changes in ocean chemistry and climate induced by anthropogenic CO2 affect a broad range of ocean biological and biogeochemical processes; these changes are already well underway. Direct effects of CO2 (e.g. on pH) are prominent among these, but climate model simulations with historical greenhouse gas forcing suggest that physical and biological processes only indirectly forced by CO2 (via the effect of atmospheric CO2 on climate) begin to show anthropogenically-induced trends as early as the 1920s. Dates of emergence of a number of representative ocean fields from the envelope of natural variability are calculated for global means and for spatial ‘fingerprints’ over a number of geographic regions. Emergence dates are consistent among these methods and insensitive to the exact choice of regions, but are generally earlier with more spatial information included. Emergence dates calculated for individual sampling stations are more variable and generally later, but means across stations are generally consistent with global emergence dates. The last sign reversal of linear trends calculated for periods of 20 or 30 years also functions as a diagnostic of emergence, and is generally consistent with other measures. The last sign reversal among 20 year trends is found to be a conservative measure (biased towards later emergence), while for 30 year trends it is found to have an early emergence bias, relative to emergence dates calculated by departure from the preindustrial mean. These results are largely independent of emission scenario, but the latest-emerging fields show a response to mitigation. A significant anthropogenic component of ocean variability has been present throughout the modern era of ocean observation.

Satellite Tagging and Biopsy Sampling of Killer Whales at Subantarctic Marion Island: Effectiveness, Immediate Reactions and Long-Term Responses

Reisinger RR, W. Oosthuizen C, Péron G, Toussaint DCory, Andrews RD, de Bruyn PJNico. Satellite Tagging and Biopsy Sampling of Killer Whales at Subantarctic Marion Island: Effectiveness, Immediate Reactions and Long-Term Responses. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(11):e111835. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0111835
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Remote tissue biopsy sampling and satellite tagging are becoming widely used in large marine vertebrate studies because they allow the collection of a diverse suite of otherwise difficult-to-obtain data which are critical in understanding the ecology of these species and to their conservation and management. Researchers must carefully consider their methods not only from an animal welfare perspective, but also to ensure the scientific rigour and validity of their results. We report methods for shore-based, remote biopsy sampling and satellite tagging of killer whales Orcinus orca at Subantarctic Marion Island. The performance of these methods is critically assessed using 1) the attachment duration of low-impact minimally percutaneous satellite tags; 2) the immediate behavioural reactions of animals to biopsy sampling and satellite tagging; 3) the effect of researcher experience on biopsy sampling and satellite tagging; and 4) the mid- (1 month) and long- (24 month) term behavioural consequences. To study mid- and long-term behavioural changes we used multievent capture-recapture models that accommodate imperfect detection and individual heterogeneity. We made 72 biopsy sampling attempts (resulting in 32 tissue samples) and 37 satellite tagging attempts (deploying 19 tags). Biopsy sampling success rates were low (43%), but tagging rates were high with improved tag designs (86%). The improved tags remained attached for 26±14 days (mean ± SD). Individuals most often showed no reaction when attempts missed (66%) and a slight reaction–defined as a slight flinch, slight shake, short acceleration, or immediate dive–when hit (54%). Severe immediate reactions were never observed. Hit or miss and age-sex class were important predictors of the reaction, but the method (tag or biopsy) was unimportant. Multievent trap-dependence modelling revealed considerable variation in individual sighting patterns; however, there were no significant mid- or long-term changes following biopsy sampling or tagging.

A Connectivity-Based Eco-Regionalization Method of the Mediterranean Sea

Berline L, Rammou A-M, Doglioli A, Molcard A, Petrenko A. A Connectivity-Based Eco-Regionalization Method of the Mediterranean Sea MacKenzie BR. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(11):e111978. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0111978
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ecoregionalization of the ocean is a necessary step for spatial management of marine resources. Previous ecoregionalization efforts were based either on the distribution of species or on the distribution of physical and biogeochemical properties. These approaches ignore the dispersal of species by oceanic circulation that can connect regions and isolates others. This dispersal effect can be quantified through connectivity that is the probability, or time of transport between distinct regions. Here a new regionalization method based on a connectivity approach is described and applied to the Mediterranean Sea. This method is based on an ensemble of Lagrangian particle numerical simulations using ocean model outputs at 1/12° resolution. The domain is divided into square subregions of 50 km size. Then particle trajectories are used to quantify the oceanographic distance between each subregions, here defined as the mean connection time. Finally the oceanographic distance matrix is used as a basis for a hierarchical clustering. 22 regions are retained and discussed together with a quantification of the stability of boundaries between regions. Identified regions are generally consistent with the general circulation with boundaries located along current jets or surrounding gyres patterns. Regions are discussed in the light of existing ecoregionalizations and available knowledge on plankton distributions. This objective method complements static regionalization approaches based on the environmental niche concept and can be applied to any oceanic region at any scale.

Examining the 10-Year Rebuilding Dilemma for U.S. Fish Stocks

Patrick WS, Cope J. Examining the 10-Year Rebuilding Dilemma for U.S. Fish Stocks. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(11):e112232. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0112232
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Worldwide, fishery managers strive to maintain fish stocks at or above levels that produce maximum sustainable yields, and to rebuild overexploited stocks that can no longer support such yields. In the United States, rebuilding overexploited stocks is a contentious issue, where most stocks are mandated to rebuild in as short a time as possible, and in a time period not to exceed 10 years. Opponents of such mandates and related guidance argue that rebuilding requirements are arbitrary, and create discontinuities in the time and fishing effort allowed for stocks to rebuild due to differences in productivity. Proponents, however, highlight how these mandates and guidance were needed to curtail the continued overexploitation of these stocks by setting firm deadlines on rebuilding. Here we evaluate the statements made by opponents and proponents of the 10-year rebuilding mandate and related guidance to determine whether such points are technically accurate using a simple population dynamics model and a database of U.S. fish stocks to parameterize the model. We also offer solutions to many of the issues surrounding this mandate and its implementation by recommending some fishing mortality based frameworks, which meet the intent of the 10-year rebuilding requirement while also providing more flexibility.

Patterns of Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Humpback Whales at the Southern Limit of the Southeast Pacific Breeding Area

Guidino C, Llapapasca MA, Silva S, Alcorta B, Pacheco AS. Patterns of Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Humpback Whales at the Southern Limit of the Southeast Pacific Breeding Area. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(11):e112627. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0112627
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Understanding the patterns of spatial and temporal distribution in threshold habitats of highly migratory and endangered species is important for understanding their habitat requirements and recovery trends. Herein, we present new data about the distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in neritic waters off the northern coast of Peru: an area that constitutes a transitional path from cold, upwelling waters to warm equatorial waters where the breeding habitat is located. Data was collected during four consecutive austral winter/spring seasons from 2010 to 2013, using whale-watching boats as platforms for research. A total of 1048 whales distributed between 487 groups were sighted. The spatial distribution of humpbacks resembled the characteristic segregation of whale groups according to their size/age class and social context in breeding habitats; mother and calf pairs were present in very shallow waters close to the coast, while dyads, trios or more whales were widely distributed from shallow to moderate depths over the continental shelf break. Sea surface temperatures (range: 18.2–25.9°C) in coastal waters were slightly colder than those closer to the oceanic realm, likely due to the influence of cold upwelled waters from the Humboldt Current system. Our results provide new evidence of the southward extension of the breeding region of humpback whales in the Southeast Pacific. Integrating this information with the knowledge from the rest of the breeding region and foraging grounds would enhance our current understanding of population dynamics and recovery trends of this species.

Tiny Is Mighty: Seagrass Beds Have a Large Role in the Export of Organic Material in the Tropical Coastal Zone

Gillis LG, Ziegler AD, van Oevelen D, Cathalot C, Herman PMJ, Wolters JW, Bouma TJ. Tiny Is Mighty: Seagrass Beds Have a Large Role in the Export of Organic Material in the Tropical Coastal Zone Pond DWilliam. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(11):e111847. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0111847
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ecosystems in the tropical coastal zone exchange particulate organic matter (POM) with adjacent systems, but differences in this function among ecosystems remain poorly quantified. Seagrass beds are often a relatively small section of this coastal zone, but have a potentially much larger ecological influence than suggested by their surface area. Using stable isotopes as tracers of oceanic, terrestrial, mangrove and seagrass sources, we investigated the origin of particulate organic matter in nine mangrove bays around the island of Phuket (Thailand). We used a linear mixing model based on bulk organic carbon, total nitrogen and δ13C and δ15N and found that oceanic sources dominated suspended particulate organic matter samples along the mangrove-seagrass-ocean gradient. Sediment trap samples showed contributions from four sources oceanic, mangrove forest/terrestrial and seagrass beds where oceanic had the strongest contribution and seagrass beds the smallest. Based on ecosystem area, however, the contribution of suspended particulate organic matter derived from seagrass beds was disproportionally high, relative to the entire area occupied by mangrove forests, the catchment area (terrestrial) and seagrass beds. The contribution from mangrove forests was approximately equal to their surface area, whereas terrestrial contributions to suspended organic matter under contributed compared to their relative catchment area. Interestingly, mangrove forest contribution at 0 m on the transects showed a positive relationship with the exposed frontal width of the mangrove, indicating that mangrove forest exposure to hydrodynamic energy may be a controlling factor in mangrove outwelling. However we found no relationship between seagrass bed contribution and any physical factors, which we measured. Our results indicate that although seagrass beds occupy a relatively small area of the coastal zone, their role in the export of organic matter is disproportional and should be considered in coastal management especially with respect to their importance as a nutrient source for other ecosystems and organisms.

Fine-scale hydrodynamics influence the spatio-temporal distribution of harbour porpoises at a coastal hotspot

Jones AR, Hosegood P, Wynn RB, De Boer MN, Butler-Cowdry S, Embling CB. Fine-scale hydrodynamics influence the spatio-temporal distribution of harbour porpoises at a coastal hotspot. Progress in Oceanography [Internet]. 2014 ;128:30 - 48. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079661114001256
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The coastal Runnelstone Reef, off southwest Cornwall (UK), is characterised by complex topography and strong tidal flows and is a known high-density site for harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena); a European protected species. Using a multidisciplinary dataset including: porpoise sightings from a multi-year land-based survey, Acoustic Doppler Current Profiling (ADCP), vertical profiling of water properties and high-resolution bathymetry; we investigate how interactions between tidal flow and topography drive the fine-scale porpoise spatio-temporal distribution at the site. Porpoise sightings were distributed non-uniformly within the survey area with highest sighting density recorded in areas with steep slopes and moderate depths. Greater numbers of sightings were recorded during strong westward (ebbing) tidal flows compared to strong eastward (flooding) flows and slack water periods. ADCP and Conductivity Temperature Depth (CTD) data identified fine-scale hydrodynamic features, associated with cross-reef tidal flows in the sections of the survey area with the highest recorded densities of porpoises. We observed layered, vertically sheared flows that were susceptible to the generation of turbulence by shear instability. Additionally, the intense, oscillatory near surface currents led to hydraulically controlled flow that transitioned from subcritical to supercritical conditions; indicating that highly turbulent and energetic hydraulic jumps were generated along the eastern and western slopes of the reef. The depression and release of isopycnals in the lee of the reef during cross-reef flows revealed that the flow released lee waves during upslope currents at specific phases of the tidal cycle when the highest sighting rates were recorded. The results of this unique, fine-scale field study provide new insights into specific hydrodynamic features, produced through tidal forcing, that may be important for creating predictable foraging opportunities for porpoises at a local scale. Information on the functional mechanisms linking porpoise distribution to static and dynamic physical habitat variables is extremely valuable to the monitoring and management of the species within the context of European conservation policies and marine renewable energy infrastructure development.

Building MPA networks by 2020: IMPAC3 achievements, future challenges and next steps

Laffoley D, Baxter J, Lefebvre C, Sévin M-A, Simard F. Building MPA networks by 2020: IMPAC3 achievements, future challenges and next steps. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems [Internet]. 2014 ;24(S2):238 - 245. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2531/abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

IMPAC3 was a milestone in defining actions, in promoting cooperation, and in inspiring new ways of thinking in order to address the ever-increasing complexity of challenges now facing the ocean. Over the duration of the Congress initiatives emerged to protect vulnerable resources and emblematic areas, ranging in size from less than one square kilometre to several million square kilometres. The Congress sought to challenge perceptions through adopting a cultural and economic approach founded around the notion of a ‘blue society’ – alongside the often more frequently referred to ‘blue economy’. The blue society is a philosophical vision for a sustainable ocean that IMPAC 3 referred to as ‘Oceankind’ – a cultural marine concept shared by mankind. Oceankind represents a new paradigm for preservation and management of marine life with the view to maintaining the ocean's integrity. Effective restoration and conservation require the sharing of knowledge and cooperation between relevant stakeholders. To this end, awareness raising and education of all stakeholders offers the potential for reinforcing a sense of common responsibility towards the conservation of the ocean, meeting not only today's needs but those of future generations.

Innovation in communications about marine protection

Day A, Laffoley D, Davis J, Jeffrey A, Musard O, Vick C. Innovation in communications about marine protection. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems [Internet]. 2014 ;24(S2):216 - 237. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2509/abstract
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article
  1. Most of the people working in the field of marine protection share a common goal: that decision-makers, stakeholders, and the public should see marine protection as a priority and dedicate a portion of their attention and resources to it, making decisions and taking actions that reflect the value of marine protection to ecological and human well-being.
  2. If this goal is to be achieved, the field of marine protection needs to embrace the field of communication in a more concerted manner.
  3. This paper outlines some of the latest trends, principles and issues relevant to communication in marine protection and illustrates these with a range of examples. Some of the key themes emerging from this review are discussed.
  4. A number of strategies for strengthening the role of communications are discussed, including means for those involved in marine protection communications to connect with each other, increased testing and sharing of examples, the use of grounded theory methods to continuously define lessons and principles, and ways to increase coordination between marine protection organizations.
  5. It is the intention that this paper will mark the beginning of a stronger cross-disciplinary field of study, and that such a field will in turn advance marine protection locally and globally.
  6. Readers can contribute to this goal and emerging field by connecting with each other around strategies, ideas and examples.

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