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Climate resilience in marine protected areas and the ‘Protection Paradox’

Climate resilience in marine protected areas and the ‘Protection Paradox’
Climate resilience in marine protected areas and the ‘Protection Paradox’

Restricting human activities through Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is assumed to create more resilient biological communities with a greater capacity to resist and recover following climate events. Here we review the evidence linking protection from local pressures (e.g., fishing and habitat destruction) with increased resilience. Despite strong theoretical underpinnings, studies have only rarely attributed resilience responses to the recovery of food webs and habitats, and increases in the diversity of communities and populations. When detected, resistance to ocean warming and recovery after extreme events in MPAs have small effect sizes against a backdrop of natural variability. By contrast, large die-offs are well described from MPAs following climate stress events. This may be in part because protection from one set of pressures or drivers (such as fishing) can select for species that are highly sensitive to others (such as warming), creating a ‘Protection Paradox’. Given that climate change is overwhelming the resilience capacity of marine ecosystems, the only primary solution is to reduce carbon emissions. High-quality monitoring data in both space and time can also identify emergent resilience signals that do exist, in combination with adequate reference data to quantify the initial system state. This knowledge will allow networks of diverse protected areas to incorporate spatial refugia against climate change, and identify resilient biological components of natural systems. Sufficient spatial replication further offers insurance against losses in any given MPA, and the possibility for many weak signals of resilience to accumulate.

0006-3207
305-314
Bates, Amanda E.
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Cooke, Robert S.C.
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Duncan, Murray I.
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Edgar, Graham J.
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Bruno, John F.
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Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro
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Côté, Isabelle M.
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Lefcheck, Jonathan S.
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Costello, Mark John
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Barrett, Neville
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Bird, Tomas J.
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Fenberg, Phillip B.
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Stuart-Smith, Rick D.
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Bates, Amanda E.
a96e267d-6d22-4232-b7ed-ce4e448a2a34
Cooke, Robert S.C.
25919276-1693-4663-a306-a90e2db2a91f
Duncan, Murray I.
c25892de-330d-4d8c-b187-6c60033f4fc8
Edgar, Graham J.
7269051b-fbec-4753-be8c-1bef22e7d4ec
Bruno, John F.
f6cbaf13-b965-406a-acdd-e2876a7d8141
Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro
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Côté, Isabelle M.
b142d441-d8ed-4602-80ff-cb75e85b0a59
Lefcheck, Jonathan S.
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Costello, Mark John
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Barrett, Neville
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Bird, Tomas J.
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Fenberg, Phillip B.
c73918cd-98cc-41e6-a18c-bf0de4f1ace8
Stuart-Smith, Rick D.
0c540bfd-5366-4a45-9cef-b3b2afa9ac44

Bates, Amanda E., Cooke, Robert S.C., Duncan, Murray I., Edgar, Graham J., Bruno, John F., Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro, Côté, Isabelle M., Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Costello, Mark John, Barrett, Neville, Bird, Tomas J., Fenberg, Phillip B. and Stuart-Smith, Rick D. (2019) Climate resilience in marine protected areas and the ‘Protection Paradox’. Biological Conservation, 236, 305-314. (doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2019.05.005).

Record type: Review

Abstract

Restricting human activities through Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is assumed to create more resilient biological communities with a greater capacity to resist and recover following climate events. Here we review the evidence linking protection from local pressures (e.g., fishing and habitat destruction) with increased resilience. Despite strong theoretical underpinnings, studies have only rarely attributed resilience responses to the recovery of food webs and habitats, and increases in the diversity of communities and populations. When detected, resistance to ocean warming and recovery after extreme events in MPAs have small effect sizes against a backdrop of natural variability. By contrast, large die-offs are well described from MPAs following climate stress events. This may be in part because protection from one set of pressures or drivers (such as fishing) can select for species that are highly sensitive to others (such as warming), creating a ‘Protection Paradox’. Given that climate change is overwhelming the resilience capacity of marine ecosystems, the only primary solution is to reduce carbon emissions. High-quality monitoring data in both space and time can also identify emergent resilience signals that do exist, in combination with adequate reference data to quantify the initial system state. This knowledge will allow networks of diverse protected areas to incorporate spatial refugia against climate change, and identify resilient biological components of natural systems. Sufficient spatial replication further offers insurance against losses in any given MPA, and the possibility for many weak signals of resilience to accumulate.

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Protection_Paradox_R2_Compiled - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 3 May 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 June 2019
Published date: 1 August 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 431843
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/431843
ISSN: 0006-3207
PURE UUID: bf8aa64d-7e5d-4695-81cc-48f4dbe2a938

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Jun 2019 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 06:35

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