Prioritizing land and sea conservation investments to protect coral reefs

Klein, Carissa J., Ban, Natalie C., Halpern, Benjamin S., Beger, Maria, Game, Edward T., Grantham, Hedley S., Green, Alison, Klein, Travis J., Kininmonth, Stuart, Treml, Eric, Wilson, Kerris and Possingham, Hugh P. (2010) Prioritizing land and sea conservation investments to protect coral reefs. PLoS One, 5 8: e12431-1-e12431-8. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012431

Author Klein, Carissa J.
Ban, Natalie C.
Halpern, Benjamin S.
Beger, Maria
Game, Edward T.
Grantham, Hedley S.
Green, Alison
Klein, Travis J.
Kininmonth, Stuart
Treml, Eric
Wilson, Kerris
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title Prioritizing land and sea conservation investments to protect coral reefs
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2010-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0012431
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 8
Start page e12431-1
End page e12431-8
Total pages 8
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Formatted abstract
Background: Coral reefs have exceptional biodiversity, support the livelihoods of millions of people, and are threatened by multiple human activities on land (e.g. farming) and in the sea (e.g. overfishing). Most conservation efforts occur at local scales and, when effective, can increase the resilience of coral reefs to global threats such as climate change (e.g. warming water and ocean acidification). Limited resources for conservation require that we efficiently prioritize where and how to best sustain coral reef ecosystems.
Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we develop the first prioritization approach that can guide regional-scale conservation investments in land- and sea-based conservation actions that cost-effectively mitigate threats to coral reefs, and apply it to the Coral Triangle, an area of significant global attention and funding. Using information on threats to marine ecosystems, effectiveness of management actions at abating threats, and the management and opportunity costs of actions, we calculate the rate of return on investment in two conservation actions in sixteen ecoregions. We discover that marine conservation almost always trumps terrestrial conservation within any ecoregion, but terrestrial conservation in one ecoregion can be a better investment than marine conservation in another. We show how these results could be used to allocate a limited budget for conservation and compare them to priorities based on individual criteria.
Conclusions/Significance: Previous prioritization approaches do not consider both land and sea-based threats or the socioeconomic costs of conserving coral reefs. A simple and transparent approach like ours is essential to support effective coral reef conservation decisions in a large and diverse region like the Coral Triangle, but can be applied at any scale and to other marine ecosystems.
© 2010 Klein et al.
Keyword Marine ecosystems
Biodiversity conservation
Human impacts
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article # e12431

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 27 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 19 Sep 2010, 00:02:56 EST