Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 775
Title: Trade-offs between species conservation and the size of marine protected areas
Author: P. M. Chittaro, I. C. Kaplan, A. A. Keller, P. S. Levin
Publication Year: 2010
Journal: Conservation Biology
Volume: 24
Issue: 1
Pages: 197-206
Keywords: biodiversity conservation, species-area relationaships, marine protected areas

Moving from single-species- to ecosystem-based management requires an understanding of how community-level attributes such as diversity change with area. We used survey data from bottom trawls to examine spatial patterns of species richness in U.S. Pacific coastal fishes. Specifically, we generated and compared speciesarea relationships (SARs) for species classified into several groups on the basis of maximum body size, trophic level, diet, maximum depth, geographic affinity, and taxonomic order. Because SARs among groups were not parallel and z values varied significantly for several groups, groups of species were underor overrepresented (depending on the size of the area) relative to their proportions in the entire community (i.e., entire U.S. Pacific coast). In this way, differences in SARs help demonstrate trade-offs between species representation and coastal area and suggest strategies (such as targeting the protection of habitats and locations where a particular species or groups of species are maximized) that may minimize the size of marine protected areas (MPAs) but protect diversity at the level of the community and functional group.

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