Guide for Valuing Marine Ecosystem Services to Support Nearshore Management in Oregon

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Oregon State University's Sea Grant program has published a Guide for Valuing Marine Ecosystem Services to Support Nearshore Management in Oregon. "This guide offers a step-by-step “how to” on the application of specific economic methods to the evaluation of tradeoffs inherent in nearshore management decisions. Specifically, it describes a community-based approach that merges ecological and economic models to generate a survey-based tradeoff exercise that allows for a single set of marine ecosystem services to be valued by local stakeholders and measured by marine researchers, thus connecting social and environmental monitoring efforts. This guide also documents a real-world implementation of the approach in which researchers from Oregon State University examined stakeholders’ values for ecosystem services delivered by marine ecosystems in Oregon."

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-Nick Wehner, OpenChannels Project Manager


Table of Contents

Journal Articles

Great expectations: Examining the designation effect of marine protected areas in coastal Arctic and sub-Arctic communities in Canada. Raynald H. Lemelin, Jackie Dawson. The Canadian Geographer, DOI: 10.1111/j.1541-0064.2013.12059.x.

Frequent locations of oceanic fronts as an indicator of pelagic diversity: Application to marine protected areas and renewables. Peter I. Miller, Stelios Christodoulou. Marine Policy, Available online 7 October 2013.

Free: Hyperspectral Sensing of Disease Stress in the Caribbean Reef-Building Coral, Orbicella faveolata - Perspectives for the Field of Coral Disease Monitoring. Anderson DA, Armstrong RA, Weil E (2013) PLoS ONE 8(12): e81478. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081478.

Free: Cumulative Human Impacts on Mediterranean and Black Sea Marine Ecosystems: Assessing Current Pressures and Opportunities. Micheli F, Halpern BS, Walbridge S, Ciriaco S, Ferretti F, et al. PLoS ONE 8(12): e79889. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079889.

Free: Sensitivity of Heterogeneous Marine Benthic Habitats to Subtle Stressors. Rodil IF, Lohrer AM, Thrush SF (2013) PLoS ONE 8(11): e81646. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081646.

Free: Sensitivity to ocean acidification parallels natural pCO2 gradients experienced by Arctic copepods under winter sea ice. Ceri N. Lewis, Kristina A. Brown, Laura A. Edwards, Glenn Cooper, and Helen S. Findlay. PNAS December 2, 2013; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1315162110.

The State of Rhode Island's pioneering marine spatial plan. Stephen B. Olsen, Jennifer H. McCann, Grover Fugate. Marine Policy, Volume 45, March 2014, Pages 26–38.

Free: “That’s what opening day is for:” social and cultural dimensions of (not) fishing for salmon in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Philip A Loring and Hannah L Harrison. Maritime Studies 2013, 12:12; doi:10.1186/2212-9790-12-12.

Cost–benefit of different methods for monitoring invasive corals on tropical rocky reefs in the southwest Atlantic. Marcelo C. Mantelatto, Beatriz G. Fleury, Carla Menegola, Joel C. Creed. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Volume 449, November 2013, Pages 129–134.

Climate Change, Marine Environments, and the U.S. Endangered Species Act. ERIN E. SENEY, MELANIE J. ROWLAND, RUTH ANN LOWERY, ROGER B. GRIFFIS, MICHELLE M. McCLURE. Conservation Biology; Volume 27, Issue 6, pages 1138–1146, December 2013.

Reports

Free: Guide for Valuing Marine Ecosystem Services to Support Nearshore Management in Oregon. Peter Freeman, Randall Rosenberger, Gil Sylvia, Selina Heppell and Muchael Harte. Oregon Sea Grant, 2013.

Other

Free Thesis: Effects of contrasting types of marine protected areas on seagrass- and coral communities: are community-based reserves an important complement to government-managed protected areas?Angelica Chirico. Stockholm University​ Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Licentiate in Philosophy Thesis 2013:3; October 2013; ISSN 1401-4106.


Great expectations: Examining the designation effect of marine protected areas in coastal Arctic and sub-Arctic communities in Canada

Marine protected area (MPA) proponents suggest that local communities can benefit from the designation effect that ensues from the creation of protected areas. Few studies, however, have examined the designation effect of MPAs. In order to illustrate the existing and potential designation effect of MPA establishment in Northern Canada, case studies and exploratory research instruments consisting of the following indicators—(i) International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) protected area category; (ii) natural heritage (wildlife, landscapes, seascapes); (iii) cultural heritage (authenticity of cultural heritage and sites); (iv) visitor accessibility (air, road); (v) existing service industry and product development (accommodations, restaurants, shops, guiding, information availability); (vi) existing tourism industry and site popularity; (vii) tourism funding opportunities for marketing and product development; (viii) double branding effect from the existence of parks and/or other type of protected area, and (ix) the designation effect—are used to examine the impacts of MPA designation (existing and proposed) in Northern Canada. The analysis suggests that the potential designation effect from four MPAs in Northern Canada is rather limited. Proponents and managers of MPAs would be best served to downplay the role of tourism and examine the role of other factors of local importance like livelihood during MPA designation.


Frequent locations of oceanic fronts as an indicator of pelagic diversity: Application to marine protected areas and renewables

Frequent locations of thermal fronts in UK shelf seas were identified using an archive of 30,000 satellite images acquired between 1999 and 2008, and applied as a proxy for pelagic diversity in the designation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Networks of MPAs are required for conservation of critical marine habitats within Europe, and there are similar initiatives worldwide. Many pelagic biodiversity hotspots are related to fronts, for example cetaceans and basking sharks around the Isle of Man, Hebrides and Cornwall, and hence remote sensing can address this policy need in regions with insufficient species distribution data. This is the first study of UK Continental Shelf front locations to use a 10-year archive of full-resolution (1.1 km) AVHRR data, revealing new aspects of their spatial and seasonal variability. Frontal locations determined at sea or predicted by ocean models agreed closely with the new frequent front maps, which also identified many additional frontal zones. These front maps were among the most widely used datasets in the recommendation of UK MPAs, and would be applicable to other geographic regions and to other policy drivers such as facilitating the deployment of offshore renewable energy devices with minimal environmental impact.


Hyperspectral Sensing of Disease Stress in the Caribbean Reef-Building Coral, Orbicella faveolata - Perspectives for the Field of Coral Disease Monitoring

The effectiveness of management plans developed for responding to coral disease outbreaks is limited due to the lack of rapid methods of disease diagnosis. In order to fulfill current management guidelines for responding to coral disease outbreaks, alternative methods that significantly reduce response time must be developed. Hyperspectral sensing has been used by various groups to characterize the spectral signatures unique to asymptomatic and bleached corals. The 2010 combined bleaching and Caribbean yellow band disease outbreak in Puerto Rico provided a unique opportunity to investigate the spectral signatures associated with bleached and Caribbean yellow band-diseased colonies of Orbicella faveolata for the first time. Using derivative and cluster analyses of hyperspectral reflectance data, the present study demonstrates the proof of concept that spectral signatures can be used to differentiate between coral disease states. This method enhanced predominant visual methods of diagnosis by distinguishing between different asymptomatic conditions that are identical in field observations and photographic records. The ability to identify disease-affected tissue before lesions become visible could greatly reduce response times to coral disease outbreaks in monitoring efforts. Finally, spectral signatures associated with the poorly understood Caribbean yellow band disease are presented to guide future research on the role of pigments in the etiology.


Cumulative Human Impacts on Mediterranean and Black Sea Marine Ecosystems: Assessing Current Pressures and Opportunities

Management of marine ecosystems requires spatial information on current impacts. In several marine regions, including the Mediterranean and Black Sea, legal mandates and agreements to implement ecosystem-based management and spatial plans provide new opportunities to balance uses and protection of marine ecosystems. Analyses of the intensity and distribution of cumulative impacts of human activities directly connected to the ecological goals of these policy efforts are critically needed. Quantification and mapping of the cumulative impact of 22 drivers to 17 marine ecosystems reveals that 20% of the entire basin and 60–99% of the territorial waters of EU member states are heavily impacted, with high human impact occurring in all ecoregions and territorial waters. Less than 1% of these regions are relatively unaffected. This high impact results from multiple drivers, rather than one individual use or stressor, with climatic drivers (increasing temperature and UV, and acidification), demersal fishing, ship traffic, and, in coastal areas, pollution from land accounting for a majority of cumulative impacts. These results show that coordinated management of key areas and activities could significantly improve the condition of these marine ecosystems.


Sensitivity of Heterogeneous Marine Benthic Habitats to Subtle Stressors

It is important to understand the consequences of low level disturbances on the functioning of ecological communities because of the pervasiveness and frequency of this type of environmental change. In this study we investigated the response of a heterogeneous, subtidal, soft-sediment habitat to small experimental additions of organic matter and calcium carbonate to examine the sensitivity of benthic ecosystem functioning to changes in sediment characteristics that relate to the environmental threats of coastal eutrophication and ocean acidification. Our results documented significant changes between key biogeochemical and sedimentary variables such as gross primary production, ammonium uptake and dissolved reactive phosphorus flux following treatment additions. Moreover, the application of treatments affected relationships between macrofauna communities, sediment characteristics (e.g., chlorophyll a content) and biogeochemical processes (oxygen and nutrient fluxes). In this experiment organic matter and calcium carbonate showed persistent opposing effects on sedimentary processes, and we demonstrated that highly heterogeneous sediment habitats can be surprisingly sensitive to subtle perturbations. Our results have important biological implications in a world with relentless anthropogenic inputs of atmospheric CO2 and nutrients in coastal waters.


Sensitivity to ocean acidification parallels natural pCO2 gradients experienced by Arctic copepods under winter sea ice

The Arctic Ocean already experiences areas of low pH and high CO2, and it is expected to be most rapidly affected by future ocean acidification (OA). Copepods comprise the dominant Arctic zooplankton; hence, their responses to OA have important implications for Arctic ecosystems, yet there is little data on their current under-ice winter ecology on which to base future monitoring or make predictions about climate-induced change. Here, we report results from Arctic under-ice investigations of copepod natural distributions associated with late-winter carbonate chemistry environmental data and their response to manipulated pCO2 conditions (OA exposures). Our data reveal that species and life stage sensitivities to manipulated OA conditions were correlated with their vertical migration behavior and with their natural exposures to different pCO2 ranges. Vertically migrating adult Calanus spp. crossed a pCO2 range of >140 μatm daily and showed only minor responses to manipulated high CO2. Oithona similis, which remained in the surface waters and experienced a pCO2 range of <75 μatm, showed significantly reduced adult and nauplii survival in high CO2 experiments. These results support the relatively untested hypothesis that the natural range of pCO2 experienced by an organism determines its sensitivity to future OA and highlight that the globally important copepod species, Oithona spp., may be more sensitive to future high pCO2 conditions compared with the more widely studied larger copepods.


The State of Rhode Island's pioneering marine spatial plan

The state of Rhode Island's Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP) is the first marine spatial plan in the United States to be formally approved by the federal government as an element of a state's Coastal Management Program. The 3800 km2 Ocean SAMP region includes waters under both state and federal jurisdiction. The Ocean SAMP applies the inclusive, ecosystem-based approach to marine spatial planning recommended by the National Ocean Commission in 2004 that is a feature of the National Ocean Policy promulgated in 2010. It places within a larger spatial planning context the impact assessment process that is the basis for the issuance of leases and permits requested by a developer for a specified activity at a defined marine site. The Ocean SAMP was prepared over a two and a half year period of information generation, analysis, consultation, planning and policy making prompted by the need to identify potentially suitable sites for anticipated offshore wind farms. Its highly consultative approach builds upon the 30 years of experience of the Rhode Island Coastal Program in developing and implementing special area management plans (SAMPs) for coastal and marine areas where conflicts over needs for both development and conservation demand special attention and negotiation among stakeholders with different interests. The phases in the development and approval of the Ocean SAMP, and the prospects for successful implementation are examined through frameworks suggested for the preparation of a governance baseline put forward by the international Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) program.


“That’s what opening day is for:” social and cultural dimensions of (not) fishing for salmon in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Commercial fishing represents an important cultural and economic cornerstone in the lives and livelihoods of the people of the Cook Inlet/Kenai Peninsula region of Alaska. Here, we discuss one aspect of commercial salmon fishing that we have found to be of particular social and cultural significance: the opening day. On the opening day, salmon are not as abundant as they will be later in the year, and as such this first chance to put nets in the water provides an opportunity for fishers to test their gear, train their crew, and renew important social connections with other fishers. The opening day also acts as an important and symbolic rite of passage for many fishers who fish seasonally and, despite working for the rest of the year in a variety of trades nevertheless consider fishing to be their primary occupation and identity. However, such ‘human dimensions’ are often not well accounted for by fisheries management regimes, and Alaska’s management of commercial salmon fisheries, which is done primarily with directed openings and closures, provides a case-in-point. We discuss the possible cumulative impacts of repeatedly losing the opening day to the long-term sustainability of the fishery and fishing communities, including contributions to the ongoing “greying of the fleet” trend. Using a framework for social well-being we argue for a more holistic approach to management that improves both ecological and societal outcomes by incorporating these human dimensions into ecosystem-based fisheries management.


Cost–benefit of different methods for monitoring invasive corals on tropical rocky reefs in the southwest Atlantic

Biological invasions need to be efficiently monitored in order to detect change in invader abundance and the modification of receptor communities so that management options can be effectively applied. We compared four methods, visual census (VC), photo-quadrats of 50 × 50 cm (PHOT50), mosaic of photo-quadrats of 25 × 25 cm (PHOTS25) and video-quadrats (VIDEO), to determine 1) the percent cover of the most abundant taxa in reef communities undergoing invasion by the corals Tubastraea coccinea and Tubastraea tagusensis and 2) direct counts of the invasive species for density estimates per unit area. The study was carried out on eight islands in the Tamoios Ecological Station Marine Protected Area, Ilha Grande Bay, Brazil. The digital methods did not differentiate some T. coccinea from T. tagusensis and both Tubastraea densities were higher in the VC method, followed by PHOTS25, PHOT50 and VIDEO. An ANOSIM indicated differences among sampled communities but not between the methodologies. The richness, diversity and evenness indices did not differ significantly between the methods for the different benthic communities investigated. In the field, the VC was slower and PHOT50 was faster; however, in the laboratory VC was faster and PHOTS25 was slower. Overall the VC method was quickest, followed by PHOT50, VIDEO and PHOTS25. The overall cost was highest in PHOTS25 method, followed by the VC, VIDEO and PHOT50. VC had the best cost-to-benefit ratio and digital methods were not reliable for estimating the densities of corals.


Climate Change, Marine Environments, and the U.S. Endangered Species Act

Climate change is expected to be a top driver of global biodiversity loss in the 21st century. It poses new challenges to conserving and managing imperiled species, particularly in marine and estuarine ecosystems. The use of climate-related science in statutorily driven species management, such as under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), is in its early stages. This article provides an overview of ESA processes, with emphasis on the mandate to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to manage listed marine, estuarine, and anadromous species. Although the ESA is specific to the United States, its requirements are broadly relevant to conservation planning. Under the ESA, species, subspecies, and “distinct population segments” may be listed as either endangered or threatened, and taking of most listed species (harassing, harming, pursuing, wounding, killing, or capturing) is prohibited unless specifically authorized via a case-by-case permit process. Government agencies, in addition to avoiding take, must ensure that actions they fund, authorize, or conduct are not likely to jeopardize a listed species’ continued existence or adversely affect designated critical habitat. Decisions for which climate change is likely to be a key factor include: determining whether a species should be listed under the ESA, designating critical habitat areas, developing species recovery plans, and predicting whether effects of proposed human activities will be compatible with ESA-listed species’ survival and recovery. Scientific analyses that underlie these critical conservation decisions include risk assessment, long-term recovery planning, defining environmental baselines, predicting distribution, and defining appropriate temporal and spatial scales. Although specific guidance is still evolving, it is clear that the unprecedented changes in global ecosystems brought about by climate change necessitate new information and approaches to conservation of imperiled species.


Guide for Valuing Marine Ecosystem Services to Support Nearshore Management in Oregon

Marine ecosystems generate myriad benefits to people, including providing for generations of fishermen, giving surfers their first wave, cycling nutrients, and storing atmospheric carbon, to name a few. They also support the industries of today and tomorrow, such as shipping and wave energy. Well-managed coastal and nearshore marine ecosystems are critical to the wellbeing of Oregonians who live at or visit the coast.

Our marine resources are vast but not infinite, and many uses of the ocean affect other uses—directly and indirectly, as well as locally and over large areas. For example, the construction of a wave-energy farm may directly exclude kayakers and fishermen from recreating in that area; or the ecological effects from commercial fishing may indirectly impact a recreational diver’s experience. Such interactions imply tradeoffs between various uses, which natural resource agencies account for in their management decisions. One tool to support this decision-making is economic analysis. Economic analysis provides methods for estimating how people value various resources, which in turn informs an appropriate assessment of tradeoffs across different uses, environmental outcomes, and management scenarios.

This guide offers a step-by-step “how to” on the application of specific economic methods to the evaluation of tradeoffs inherent in nearshore management decisions. Specifically, it describes a community-based approach that merges ecological and economic models to generate a survey-based tradeoff exercise that allows for a single set of marine ecosystem services to be valued by local stakeholders and measured by marine researchers, thus connecting social and environmental monitoring efforts. This guide also documents a real-world implementation of the approach in which researchers from Oregon State University examined stakeholders’ values for ecosystem services delivered by marine ecosystems in Oregon.

Given the increasing environmental, economic, and social pressures on Oregon’s marine ecosystem, a key challenge facing marine resource management agencies is to balance human uses and environmental protection in a way that increases societal wellbeing. The approach detailed in this guide is designed to contribute to addressing this challenge.


Effects of contrasting types of marine protected areas on seagrass- and coral communities: are community-based reserves an important complement to government-managed protected areas?

Coastal ecosystems, including seagrass beds and coral reefs, are among the most ecological and economical important ecosystems on Earth. At the same time as these ecosystems support livelihoods of coastal communities they are being highly degraded worldwide. Government-managed marine protected areas (MPAs) are a common tool in marine conservation and have been demonstrated to successfully protect natural resources. At the same time, they are increasingly criticized for excluding and marginalizing local communities. Therefore, alternative types of management that are managed by the communities themselves (community-based reserves; CBRs) constitute a promising alternative since they have a much higher acceptance among local people. However, the scientific knowledge on protection effects of CBRs on these critical habitats are scarce, and most research on the effects of place-based management has largely focused on coral reefs. The aim of this thesis was therefore to investigate how MPAs and CBRs affect corals and seagrasses, and their associated communities, using coastal Kenya (East Africa) as a case study. Paper I examines effects from CBRs and MPAs on benthic community composition, and cover and diversity of seagrasses, hard corals and associated benthic organisms. Paper II examines the effects of CBRs and MPAs on the density, size, biomass and potential monetary value of fish; the basis for coastal fisheries that are a particularly important ecosystem service in the study area. The results demonstrate that the small and recently protected Kenyan CBRs can increase the diversity of benthic organisms, protect important functional groups, increase structural complexity, and additionally increase fish size, biomass and monetary value. The results also show that protection from MPAs can result in shifts in both seagrass beds and coral reef communities (from a dominance of stress-tolerant species in fished areas, to stress-sensitive species in protected areas), and that the two habitats were similarly affected by protection. In summary, this thesis suggest that i) locally-managed CBRs may be an important complement to MPAs, and ii) that seagrass beds should more often be included in management plans.