Evidence That Marine Reserves Enhance Resilience to Climatic Impacts: Fiorenza Micheli ('09), Andrea Sáenz-Arroyo ('11), and Colleagues
Establishing marine protected areas, including fully protected marine reserves, is one of the few management tools available for local communities to combat the deleterious effect that large-scale environmental impacts, including global climate change, have on ocean ecosystems. According to a paper published in the July 18 issue of PLoS ONE by Fiorenza Micheli, associate professor at Stanford University; Andrea Sáenz-Arroyo, director of science at Comunidad y Biodiversidad A.C.; and colleagues.
“Despite the common hope that reserves play this role, empirical evidence of the effectiveness of local protection against global problems is lacking,” they write. “Here we show that marine reserves increase the resilience of marine populations to a mass mortality event possibly caused by climate-driven hypoxia. Despite high and widespread adult mortality of benthic invertebrates in Baja California, Mexico, that affected populations both within and outside marine reserves, juvenile replenishment of the species that supports local economies, the pink abalone (Haliotis corrugata), remained stable within reserves because of large body size and high egg production of the protected adults.
“Thus, local protection provided resilience through greater resistance and faster recovery of protected populations. Moreover, this benefit extended to adjacent unprotected areas through larval spillover across the edges of the reserves. While climate change mitigation is being debated, coastal communities have few tools to slow down negative impacts of global environmental shifts. These results show that marine protected areas can provide such protection.”
Read the paper, Evidence That Marine Reserves Enhance Resilience to Climatic Impacts, on the PLoS One website.
International Regulation Curbs Illegal Trade of Caviar: Ellen K. Pikitch ('00)
Research that used mitochondrial DNA-based testing to compare the extent of fraudulent labeling of black caviar purchased before and after international protection shows conservation benefits. A team of scientists from the Institute for Conservation Science at Stony Brook University and the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York repeated a market survey of commercially available caviar in the New York City area that had been conducted before the protection was put in place, and the results showed nearly a 50 percent decrease in fraudulently labeled caviar. The paper, published online July 25 in the journal PLoS ONE, compared the results of two market surveys conducted 10 years apart. The previous market survey was conducted from 1995 through 1996, before the listing of the sturgeon by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora came into effect in 1998, and revealed that 19 percent of commercially available caviar in the New York City area was mislabeled with respect to species origin. When sampling the same market from 2006 through 2008, fraudulently labeled caviar occurred in 10 percent of the caviar and only occurred in samples bought online.
“It's encouraging that the extent of illegal trade has diminished in recent years since international trade restrictions have come into force,” said Ellen K. Pikitch, co-author and executive director of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science and a professor at Stony Brook University. “Consumers can now be highly confident that what's written on the label accurately describes what's in the tin. However, preventing the extinction of critically endangered species such as the beluga sturgeon requires a full-court press. Importantly, smaller fishing allowances, including bans on fishing in key geographic areas and better enforcement of fishing regulations, are needed to give depleted sturgeon populations a fighting chance to recover.”
Read a news release about the paper on the Institute of Ocean Conservation Science website.
Read the paper, Testing the Effectiveness of an International Conservation Agreement: Marketplace Forensics and CITES Caviar Trade Regulation, on the PLoS One website.
Also see International Regulation Curbs Illegal Trade of Caviar on the e! Science News websit.e
Beach Forest Species and Mangrove Associates of the Philippines: Jurgenne Primavera ('05) and Colleague
Jurgenne Primavera, scientist emerita at the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, and a colleague have published a book, Beach Forest and Mangrove Associates in the Philippines, with support from UNESCO Jakarta, UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme, Japan's feed-in tariff, and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center's Aquaculture Department. The 160-page book introduces researchers and the public to 140 beach forest species and mangrove associates (97 species fully described/illustrated and 43 species pictorials). Standard species layouts include technical descriptions and color photos of habits, leaves, flowers, fruits, utilization, and silviculture, and descriptions of their medicinal, traditional, and commercial uses based on recent research and the older, hard-to-access literature. A glossary and references are also provided.
Read an article about the book, Overlooked Paradox, on the Inquirer News websit.e
Papuan Bird's Head Seascape: Emerging Threats and Challenges in the Global Center of Marine Biodiversity: Mark Erdmann ('04)
In a paper published in the Aug. 2 issue of Marine Pollution Bulletin, Mark Erdmann, senior adviser to Conservation International's Indonesian Marine Program, and colleagues write: “The Bird's Head Seascape located in eastern Indonesia is the global epicenter of tropical shallow water marine biodiversity with over 600 species of corals and 1,638 species of coral reef fishes. The seascape also includes critical habitats for globally threatened marine species, including sea turtles and cetaceans. Since 2001, the region has undergone rapid development in fisheries, oil and gas extraction, mining, and logging. The expansion of these sectors, combined with illegal activities and poorly planned coastal development, is accelerating deterioration of coastal and marine environments. At the same time, regency governments have expanded their marine protected area networks to cover 3,594,702 ha [hectares] of islands and coastal waters. Low population numbers, relatively healthy natural resources, and a strong tenure system in eastern Indonesia provide an opportunity for government and local communities to collaboratively manage their resources sustainably to ensure long-term food security, while meeting their development aspirations.”
Read the paper, Papuan Bird's Head Seascape: Emerging threats and challenges in the global center of marine biodiversity, on the SciVerse website.
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