Managing for Interactions between Local and Global Stressors of Ecosystems

Brown, Christopher J., Saunders, Megan I., Possingham, Hugh P. and Richardson, Anthony J. (2013) Managing for Interactions between Local and Global Stressors of Ecosystems. PLoS ONE, 8 6: e65765.1-e65765.9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065765

Author Brown, Christopher J.
Saunders, Megan I.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Richardson, Anthony J.
Title Managing for Interactions between Local and Global Stressors of Ecosystems
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2013-06
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0065765
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 6
Start page e65765.1
End page e65765.9
Total pages 10
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Global stressors, including climate change, are a major threat to ecosystems, but they cannot be halted by local actions. Ecosystem management is thus attempting to compensate for the impacts of global stressors by reducing local stressors, such as overfishing. This approach assumes that stressors interact additively or synergistically, whereby the combined effect of two stressors is at least the sum of their isolated effects. It is not clear, however, how management should proceed for antagonistic interactions among stressors, where multiple stressors do not have an additive or greater impact. Research to date has focussed on identifying synergisms among stressors, but antagonisms may be just as common. We examined the effectiveness of management when faced with different types of interactions in two systems - seagrass and fish communities - where the global stressor was climate change but the local stressors were different. When there were synergisms, mitigating local stressors delivered greater gains, whereas when there were antagonisms, management of local stressors was ineffective or even degraded ecosystems. These results suggest that reducing a local stressor can compensate for climate change impacts if there is a synergistic interaction. Conversely, if there is an antagonistic interaction, management of local stressors will have the greatest benefits in areas of refuge from climate change. A balanced research agenda, investigating both antagonistic and synergistic interaction types, is needed to inform management priorities
Keyword Marine Protected Areas
Climate Change
Coral reefs
Mediterranean Seagrass
Ocean Acidification
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 38 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 48 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 21 Jul 2013, 00:13:31 EST by System User on behalf of Global Change Institute