Biodiversity is a multifaceted concept, yet most biodiversity studies have taken a taxonomic approach, implying that all species are equally important. However, species do not contribute equally to ecosystem processes and differ markedly in their responses to changing environments. This recognition has led to the exploration of other components of biodiversity, notably the diversity of ecologically important traits. Recent studies taking into account both taxonomic and trait diversity have revealed that the two biodiversity components may exhibit pronounced temporal and spatial differences. These apparent incongruences indicate that the two components may respond differently to environmental drivers and that changes in one component might not affect the other. Such incongruences may provide insight into the structuring of communities through community assembly processes, and the resilience of ecosystems to change. Here we examine temporal and spatial patterns and drivers of multiple marine biodiversity indicators using the North Sea fish community as a case study. Based on long-term spatially resolved survey data on fish species occurrences and biomasses from 1983 to 2014 and an extensive trait dataset we: (i) investigate temporal and spatial incongruences between taxonomy and trait-based indicators of both richness and evenness; (ii) examine the underlying environmental drivers and, (iii) interpret the results in the context of assembly rules acting on community composition. Our study shows that taxonomy and trait-based biodiversity indicators differ in time and space and that these differences are correlated to natural and anthropogenic drivers, notably temperature, depth and substrate richness. Our findings show that trait-based biodiversity indicators add information regarding community composition and ecosystem structure compared to and in conjunction with taxonomy-based indicators. These results emphasize the importance of examining and monitoring multiple indicators of biodiversity in ecological studies as well as for conservation and ecosystem-based management purposes.
Betweenness has been used in a number of marine studies to identify portions of sea that sustain the connectivity of whole marine networks. Herein we highlight the need of methodological exactness in the calculation of betweenness when graph theory is applied to marine connectivity studies based on transfer probabilities. We show the inconsistency in calculating betweeness directly from transfer probabilities and propose a new metric for the node-to-node distance that solves it. Our argumentation is illustrated by both simple theoretical examples and the analysis of a literature data set.
Over the last 25 years, research on biodiversity has expanded dramatically, fuelled by increasing threats to the natural world. However, the number of published studies is heavily weighted towards certain taxa, perhaps influencing conservation awareness of and funding for less-popular groups. Few studies have systematically quantified these biases, although information on this topic is important for informing future research and conservation priorities. We investigated: i) which animal taxa are being studied; ii) if any taxonomic biases are the same in temperate and tropical regions; iii) whether the taxon studied is named in the title of papers on biodiversity, perhaps reflecting a perception of what biodiversity is; iv) the geographical distribution of biodiversity research, compared with the distribution of biodiversity and threatened species; and v) the geographical distribution of authors’ countries of origin. To do this, we used the search engine Web of Science to systematically sample a subset of the published literature with ‘biodiversity’ in the title. In total 526 research papers were screened—5% of all papers in Web of Science with biodiversity in the title. For each paper, details on taxonomic group, title phrasing, number of citations, study location, and author locations were recorded. Compared to the proportions of described species, we identified a considerable taxonomic weighting towards vertebrates and an under-representation of invertebrates (particularly arachnids and insects) in the published literature. This discrepancy is more pronounced in highly cited papers, and in tropical regions, with only 43% of biodiversity research in the tropics including invertebrates. Furthermore, while papers on vertebrate taxa typically did not specify the taxonomic group in the title, the converse was true for invertebrate papers. Biodiversity research is also biased geographically: studies are more frequently carried out in developed countries with larger economies, and for a given level of species or threatened species, tropical countries were understudied relative to temperate countries. Finally, biodiversity research is disproportionately authored by researchers from wealthier countries, with studies less likely to be carried out by scientists in lower-GDP nations. Our results highlight the need for a more systematic and directed evaluation of biodiversity studies, perhaps informing more targeted research towards those areas and taxa most depauperate in research. Only by doing so can we ensure that biodiversity research yields results that are relevant and applicable to all regions and that the information necessary for the conservation of threatened species is available to conservation practitioners.
- Marine protected areas (MPAs) and freshwater protected areas (FPAs), collectively aquatic protected areas (APAs), share many commonalities in their design, establishment, and management, suggesting great potential for sharing lessons learned. However, surprisingly little has been exchanged to date, and both realms of inquiry and practice have progressed mostly independent of each other.
- This paper builds on a session held at the 7th World Fisheries Congress in Busan, South Korea, in May 2016, which explored crossover lessons between marine and freshwater realms, and included case studies of four MPAs and five FPAs (or clusters of FPAs) from nine countries.
- This review uses the case studies to explore similarities, differences, and transferrable lessons between MPAs and FPAs under five themes: (1) ecological system; (2) establishment approaches; (3) effectiveness monitoring; (4) sustaining APAs; and (5) challenges and external threats.
- Ecological differences between marine and freshwater environments may necessitate different approaches for collecting species and habitat data to inform APA design, establishment and monitoring, but once collected, similar spatial ecological tools can be applied in both realms. In contrast, many similarities exist in the human dimension of both MPA and FPA establishment and management, highlighting clear opportunities for exchanging lessons related to stakeholder engagement and support, and for using similar socio-economic and governance assessment methods to address data gaps in both realms.
- Regions that implement MPAs and FPAs could work together to address shared challenges, such as developing mechanisms for diversified and sustained funding, and employing integrated coastal/watershed management to address system-level threats. Collaboration across realms could facilitate conservation of diadromous species in both marine and freshwater habitats.
- Continued exchange and increased collaboration would benefit both realms, and may be facilitated by defining shared terminology, holding cross-disciplinary conferences or sessions, publishing inclusive papers, and proposing joint projects.
Introduction: Interrelated social and ecological challenges demand an understanding of how environmental change and management decisions affect human well-being. This paper outlines a framework for measuring human well-being for ecosystem-based management (EBM). We present a prototype that can be adapted and developed for various scales and contexts. Scientists and managers use indicators to assess status and trends in integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs). To improve the social science rigor and success of EBM, we developed a systematic and transparent approach for evaluating indicators of human well-being for an IEA.
Methods: Our process is based on a comprehensive conceptualization of human well-being, a scalable analysis of management priorities, and a set of indicator screening criteria tailored to the needs of EBM. We tested our approach by evaluating more than 2000 existing social indicators related to ocean and coastal management of the US West Coast. We focused on two foundational attributes of human well-being: resource access and self-determination.
Outcomes and Discussion: Our results suggest that existing indicators and data are limited in their ability to reflect linkages between environmental change and human well-being, and extremely limited in their ability to assess social equity and justice. We reveal a critical need for new social indicators tailored to answer environmental questions and new data that are disaggregated by social variables to measure equity. In both, we stress the importance of collaborating with the people whose well-being is to be assessed.
Conclusion: Our framework is designed to encourage governments and communities to carefully assess the complex tradeoffs inherent in environmental decision-making.
A State-of-the-Art review of scientific literature related with beach governance is presented by utilizing the Tree of Science® tool – ToS. In a search conducted in November 2016, 47 papers were found in the Web of Science® with the combination of words ‘beach’ and ‘governance’. Papers were classified by ToS in roots (high input degree; n = 8), trunks (high intermediation degree; n = 9) and leaves (high output degree; n = 30). The Ocean and Coastal Management Journal was the most relevant journal, with 10 articles published (21,3%), and Elsevier was the most relevant publisher in this topic (n = 25; 53%). About authors, E. Ariza was the most relevant author, with articles in roots, trunks and leaves and participation in four of papers revised. Analysis by country of authors’ affiliation shows a leading by USA (n = 28; 18%), closely followed by the UK (n = 22; 14%) and Spain (n = 17; 11%). A general overview identifies a growing ToS in beach governance, with some strong references in trunks and leaves, and several other references receiving less attention by the scientific community. Finally, a prospective analysis from branches suggest that the scientific community is researching around four subtopics (Policy and legal framework, Participation/co-management, Resources Management, Public/Common Rights), which in the near future could be a new ToS in the forest of beach management theme.
As part of an ecosystem based approach to fisheries management (EBFM), the heterogeneity of biological communities, key ecological processes and human uses must be understood. Although fishing effort distribution and marine habitat distribution and use are increasingly well understood, little research has quantified spatio-temporal changes in fishing effort or investigated drivers of these changes. Here, a holistic approach was taken to investigate socio-economic, environmental and technological drivers of change in fishing effort distribution of the Northumberland pot-fishery (2004–2014) using Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) analyses. BBNs were populated using large-scale high resolution spatial and temporal fisheries monitoring data, quantitative and qualitative interviews with fishers and expert opinion. Increases in fishing effort over time were explained by a combination of changes in fleet composition and fishers’ behaviour. Increasing vessel and engine sizes, combined with an increased uptake of improved fishing technology have resulted in a greater ability for vessels to fish a greater number of pots. This increase in vessel and fishing capability has resulted in fishers’ increased ability to fish in harsher weather conditions, as well as target specific areas or habitats quickly and opportunistically. Non-technological factors, such as declines in stocks of finfish and nephrops and the increasing operational costs of participating in these fisheries may have resulted in fishers solely fishing in the less regulated pot-fishery, targeting high value European lobster on a full-time basis. Increasing costs of pot-fishing in Northumberland coupled with stagnating crab and lobster landings prices may have resulted in increased fishing effort to maintain profitability.
Sustainable fisheries management is key to restoring and maintaining ecological function and benefits to people, but it requires accurate information about patterns of resource use, particularly fishing pressure. In most coral reef fisheries and other data-poor contexts, obtaining such information is challenging and remains an impediment to effective management. We developed the most comprehensive regional view of shore-based fishing effort and catch published to date, to show detailed fishing patterns from across the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). We reveal these regional patterns through fisher “creel” surveys conducted by local communities, state agencies, academics, and/or environmental organizations, at 18 sites, comprising >10,000 h of monitoring across a range of habitats and human influences throughout the MHI. All creel surveys included in this study except for one were previously published in some form (peer-reviewed articles or gray literature reports). Here, we synthesize these studies to document spatial patterns in nearshore fisheries catch, effort, catch rates (i.e., catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE)), and catch disposition (i.e., use of fish after catch is landed). This effort provides for a description of general regional patterns based on these location-specific studies. Line fishing was by far the dominant gear type employed. The most efficient gear (i.e., highest CPUE) was spear (0.64 kg h−1), followed closely by net (0.61 kg h−1), with CPUE for line (0.16 kg h−1) substantially lower than the other two methods. Creel surveys also documented illegal fishing activity across the studied locations, although these activities were not consistent across sites. Overall, most of the catch was not sold, but rather retained for home consumption or given away to extended family, which suggests that cultural practices and food security may be stronger drivers of fishing effort than commercial exploitation for coral reef fisheries in Hawai‘i. Increased monitoring of spatial patterns in nearshore fisheries can inform targeted management, and can help communities develop a more informed understanding of the drivers of marine resource harvest and the state of the resources, in order to maintain these fisheries for food security, cultural practices, and ecological value.
The success of protected areas as a management tool for biodiversity conservation remains as a challenge, and broader approaches for protected area management have been proposed. Considering biodiversity conservation as an issue of the commons and within the realm of social-ecological systems is a promising alternative. In Brazil protected areas are under a State management regime, ruled by the National System of Conservation Units. The Ecological Station of Guaraqueçaba (ESG) is a no-take protected area located in the Paranagua Estuarine Complex, surrounded by traditional communities. In this article, Ostrom's design principles were adapted to assess the institutional dynamics of this protected area management, during two periods. Research methods included semi-structured interviews, participant observation and document analysis. During the first period, management actions were oriented to prevent the conversion of forest areas into anthropic occupations. The second period originated in 2000 with the creation of the National System of Conservation Units, which established more precise management tools and mechanisms for participatory decision making. In both periods there was low fulfillment of Ostrom's principles. The main changes over time were the creation of the ESG management council as a conflict-resolution mechanism, and an increase in the recognition of the rights of local communities. Yet, only three of the eight principles are totally present in the current institutional arrangement (well-defined boundaries, conflict-resolution mechanisms, and minimal recognition of rights). The results suggest a not robust institutional arrangement in terms of commons sustainable management.
Ecosystem services (ES) are direct and indirect benefits of ecosystems that are not generally offered by markets and from which society obtains goods and services. ES are grouped according to four ecosystemic functions: regulation, provisioning, habitat and cultural. Our study aimed at identifying ES provided by beaches and coastal dunes in the Baja California Peninsula. ES were identified in a literature search in the international and local scientific bibliography databases. We used key words like: ES in Baja California, ES in beaches and ES in coastal dunes. We analyzed 350 selected papers. Explicit and implicit mentions to ES or to their elements were extracted from the reviewed documents; the assigned value represents the degree of importance of each ES: 0 (unimportant), 1 (low importance), 2 (medium importance) and 3 (high importance). The ES cultural function was the best documented, being mentioned in 40 publications. The habitat function was the most reported for the Pacific Ocean coast mainly refuge for flora and fauna. The functions of regulation of air quality and climate are equally analyzed in ten publications. The ES of erosion regulation, pollination, and water flow are only documented in the Gulf of California coastline. We concluded it is highly relevant to know the ES provided by beaches and coastal dunes in order to design and implement adequate management practices that conserve the ecosystem in order for it to continue providing ES to humans.
Monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of no-take zones (NTZs) is critical, not just for the effective management of marine resources, but also for informing and gaining support from community stakeholders. The Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR) established a network of coastal NTZs in 2001, yet, to date no study has investigated their effectiveness in protecting and enabling key species to recover. Using data from the Galapagos National Park Directorate annual Lobster Population Monitoring Program from 2012 to 2014, this study evaluated the recovery of the commercially valuable red spiny lobster (Panulirus penicillatus) inside NTZs in the GMR. It was hypothesized that NTZs would present higher lobster abundances or sizes when compared with adjacent fished zones. However, the study found no significant differences in these comparisons. Overall the findings indicate that > 11 years of protection has had no appreciable effect on lobster abundances or sizes inside the NTZs. This paper explores possible reasons for the lack of response in NTZs, and concluded that non-compliance and shortcomings within the enforcement framework of the GMR are the key factors limiting the functionality of these NTZs. Additionally, it also evaluates the limitations of the current monitoring program and highlights the need for a more comprehensive and long-term program to be implemented. As the new zoning scheme for NTZs in the GMR that began in 2016 is still to be determined, this information should be considered by decision makers to improve the effectiveness of NTZs and sustainable management of the GRM's coastal resources.
Understanding population dynamics in broadly distributed marine species with cryptic life history stages is challenging. Information on the population dynamics of sea turtles tends to be biased toward females, due to their accessibility for study on nesting beaches. Males are encountered only at sea; there is little information about their migratory routes, residence areas, foraging zones, and population boundaries. In particular, male leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea) are quite elusive; little is known about adult and juvenile male distribution or behavior. The at-sea distribution of male turtles from different breeding populations is not known. Here, 122 captured or stranded male leatherback turtles from the USA, Turkey, France, and Canada (collected 1997–2012) were assigned to one of nine Atlantic basin populations using genetic analysis with microsatellite DNA markers. We found that all turtles originated from western Atlantic nesting beaches (Trinidad 55%, French Guiana 31%, and Costa Rica 14%). Although genetic data for other Atlantic nesting populations were represented in the assignment analysis (St. Croix, Brazil, Florida, and Africa (west and south), none of the male leatherbacks included in this study were shown to originate from these populations. This was an unexpected result based on estimated source population sizes. One stranded turtle from Turkey was assigned to French Guiana, while others that were stranded in France were from Trinidad or French Guiana breeding populations. For 12 male leatherbacks in our dataset, natal origins determined from the genetic assignment tests were compared to published satellite and flipper tag information to provide evidence of natal homing for male leatherbacks, which corroborated our genetic findings. Our focused study on male leatherback natal origins provides information not previously known for this cryptic, but essential component of the breeding population. This method should provide a guideline for future studies, with the ultimate goal of improving management and conservation strategies for threatened and endangered species by taking the male component of the breeding population into account.
This chapter includes an assessment of physical vulnerability of the coast, including a coastal vulnerability index composed of 9 physical variables—elevation, distance to shore, tide amplitude, significant wave weight, erosion/accretion rates, geology, geomorphology, ground cover vegetation, and anthropogenic actions—followed by a quantification of coastal recession and the data of special report on emissions scenarios (SRES) developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the rise in average sea level. It includes an estimate of the economic value of an area of recreation based on the travel cost method. Finally, a bibliographic review is made to assess strategies and responses to the impacts of sea level rise in order to make comparisons and to develop a road map of interventions for shoreline protection. The proposed methodology was applied to a case study on the Portuguese coast corresponding to the beaches of Costa de Caparica, Almada.
The concept of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) is globally of increasing interest. However, little is known about the views and expectations of professionals and practitioners expected to enable or implement this concept. Since these individuals design, select, shape and deliver environmental management, their views and expectations are critical to understanding how PES may play out in practice. Using the first survey on this topic, in the UK this research discusses the implications for future research and environmental management.
Responses indicate a range of views about PES and its potential effects. Most expect to see greater use of PES in future; and are cautiously positive about the environmental, social and economic consequences of doing so. Many hope PES may overcome existing challenges facing environmental management, subject to conditions or changes. The research also revealed tensions related to broader challenges in environmental governance – e.g. calls for standardisation may conflict with requests for adaptability. Meanwhile, other expectations – e.g. improved engagement with groups currently uninterested in the environment – indicate priorities that may be better addressed with other instruments. Varied views are likely in most countries and must be assessed to better understand the prospects and potential of PES.
Determining the extent of repeatable differences in the behavior of animals and the factors that influence behavioral expression is important for understanding individual fitness and population processes, thereby aiding in species conservation. However, little is known about the causes of variation in the repeatability of behavioral differences among species because rarely have comparative studies been undertaken to examine the repeatability of behavioral differences among individuals within their natural ecological settings. Using two species of endemic subtropical anemonefishes, Amphiprion mccullochi and A. latezonatus at Lord Howe and North Solitary Islands, Australia, we conducted an in situ comparative analysis of personality traits, examining the repeatability of boldness, sociability and aggression as well as the potential role of environmental and social factors on behavioral expression. For A. mccullochi, only boldness and aggression were highly repeatable and these behaviors formed a behavioral syndrome. For A. latezonatus, none of the three behaviors were repeatable due to low-inter-individual variation in behavior. We suggest that the harsher and more variable environmental and social conditions experienced by A. latezonatus have resulted in reduced repeatability in behavior, in contrast to A. mccullochi which typically inhabits a more stable lagoonal reef environment. Additionally, group size and size rank, rather than nearest-neighbor distance and anemone size, influenced the expression of these behaviors in both species, suggesting that behavioral variation was more sensitive to social than environmental factors. Overall, differences in repeatability between these closely related species likely reflect adaptations to contrasting environmental and social conditions, although alternative explanations must be considered. The differences in behavioral consistency between these two endemic anemonefishes could lead to disparity in their resilience to environmental or social change in the future.
On August 2–3, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop titled Preparing for a Rapid Response to Major Offshore Oil Spills: A Workshop on Research Needs to Protect the Health and Well-Being of Communities. Its objectives were to explore research needs and other opportunities for improving public health preparedness, response, and protection related to oil spills; consider how to work within and how to complement the existing oil spill response framework to improve the protection of community health and well-being; to inform discussions about how the Gulf Research Program and other divisions of the National Academies can support these efforts; and to foster connections among public health, oil spill practitioners, disaster research communities, and leaders from communities affected by oil spills. This publication briefly summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
This article presents an innovative collaborative approach, which aims to reinforce and institutionalize the field of the political anthropology of the sea combined with the natural sciences. It begins by relating the evolution in coastal areas, from integrated coastal zone management to the notion of adaptive co-management. It then sets out what contribution the social sciences of politics may bring to our understanding of the government/governance of the sea in terms of sustainable development, starting with political science and then highlighting the importance of a deep anthropological and socio-historical approach. Finally, it gives us a glimpse of the benefits of combining the human and social sciences with the natural sciences to produce a critical analysis of the categories of thought and action associated with the systemic management of the environment, especially the coastal areas.
Coralligenous habitats are an important ‘hot spot’ of species diversity in the Mediterranean and grant a variety of valuable ecosystem services. Currently, these areas are under threat due to human activities such as unsustainable and destructive fishing practices, environmental phenomena, and other significant pressures related to global environmental change. The coralligenous habitats are also endangered by practices that result in the presence of abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) at sea, a worldwide phenomenon only recently stigmatized whose impacts on marine habitats and coralligenous areas are serious.
The aim of this paper is to investigate the economic value of restoration strategies promoted to safeguard and improve biodiversity in these coralligenous habitats through a contingent valuation survey administered to a sample of 4000 Italians. Households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for biodiversity restoration and conservation ranges between €10.30 and €64.02 depending on the assumptions underlying the different models. The main positive and significant determinants of WTP are a previous knowledge or familiarity with coralligenous habitats and biodiversity issues, income, education, environmental attitudes, and the knowledge that indiscriminate fishing may be dangerous for biodiversity in a coralligenous habitat.
This article has an empirical focus on energy transition using the emerging offshore renewable energy (ORE) industries in the context of global governance. First, it explores and assesses pertinent discussions on sustainability and transformation within energy systems and the marine space. Then, it studies potential policy linkages within ORE governance which, although relying on clearly defined objectives and targets (e.g. climate change mitigation, increased share of renewable energy, energy security), could translate into polycentricity and institutional complexity/fragmentation. Previous research has focused on the technical, legal and policy challenges of deploying ORE technologies, however there is not any systematic review of who are its global governors. Certainly, the importance of the International Renewable Energy Agency and other renewable energy intergovernmental institutions has not been overlooked. Nevertheless, there are other international organisations whose mandate extends beyond renewable energy and several non-state actors who claim a role in ORE governance. This article puts forward a comprehensive analysis of the institutional architecture of global ORE governance with emphasis on the EU in order to shed a light on how ORE is being governed and who is involved. Results should advance knowledge on the scope, type and function of the institutions currently governing the exploration and exploitation of offshore renewable resources.
The Marine Protected Area Governance (MPAG) framework was developed to offer a structured, empirical approach for analysing governance and has been applied to marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world. This study sees the novel application of the MPAG framework to a small-scale mangrove crab fishery in northwest Madagascar. The country typifies developing country environmental governance challenges, due to its poverty, political instability and lack of state capacity, with bottom-up approaches often identified as a potential solution. In this context, small-scale fisheries (SSF) play a vital role in food security and poverty alleviation but are vulnerable to over-exploitation. The case study examines community-based management, including the role of three nascent fishing association managing portions of the fishery, within a mangrove ecosystem. Despite issues with underrepresentation of fishers in local resource management organizations that have partial responsibility for the mangrove habitats, some management measures and incentives have been applied, including the replantation of mangroves and fishery-wide gear restrictions. However, the analysis highlights market forces and migration are drivers with negative synergistic effects that cannot be controlled by bottom-up management. Incentives identified as needed or in need or strengthening require the support of external actors, the state, industry and or NGO(s). Thus, governance approaches should seek integration and move away from polarised solutions (top-down vs- bottom-up). As shown by other MPAG case studies, effective governance is dependent on achieving 'resilience through diversity', in terms of the diversity of both the actors and the incentives they are able to collectively employ.