Mangrove-reef connectivity promotes the effectiveness of marine reserves across the western Pacific

Olds, Andrew D., Albert, Simon, Maxwell, Paul S., Pitt, Kylie A. and Connolly, Rod M. (2013) Mangrove-reef connectivity promotes the effectiveness of marine reserves across the western Pacific. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 22 9: 1040-1049. doi:10.1111/geb.12072

Author Olds, Andrew D.
Albert, Simon
Maxwell, Paul S.
Pitt, Kylie A.
Connolly, Rod M.
Title Mangrove-reef connectivity promotes the effectiveness of marine reserves across the western Pacific
Journal name Global Ecology and Biogeography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1466-822X
Publication date 2013-09
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/geb.12072
Volume 22
Issue 9
Start page 1040
End page 1049
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aim: To evaluate the potential of habitat connectivity to promote the effectiveness of marine reserves. We used heterogeneous reef seascapes as a model system to examine the potential interaction of reserves and mangrove-reef connectivity and compared the magnitude of these effects across the western Pacific Ocean.

The tropical and subtropical western Pacific, including the Solomon Islands, Great Barrier Reef and Moreton Bay, Australia.

Methods: We quantified fish densities on coral reefs (38 sites) and in mangrove forests (19 sites) across seven marine reserves and twelve unprotected control locations. Fish assemblages were in seascapes supporting either adjacent reefs and mangroves or isolated reefs. For each reserve-control comparison, we evaluated the potential interactive effects of habitat connectivity on species richness and densities of harvested species, functional groups, families and individual species. We then examined the influence of spatial variation in reserve attributes, seascape heterogeneity and latitude on the magnitude of reserve-connectivity effects.

Results: Snappers (Lutjanidae) and rabbitfish (Siganidae) were more abundant on reserve reefs close to mangroves in all regions. These interactive effects also enhanced the abundance of sweetlip (Haemulidae), bream (Sparidae), harvested fish, herbivores and piscivores and species richness in two of the three regions examined. Spatial variation in the magnitude of reserve-connectivity effects was explained by differences among reserves in seascape variables (i.e. area of mangroves and reef, duration of mangrove inundation and distance to rivers) but not by reserve attributes (i.e. age, size, poaching) or latitude.

Main conclusions: Habitat connectivity improved the effectiveness of reserves across the western Pacific Ocean. We recommend that heterogeneous landscapes with high-habitat connectivity should be viewed as high priorities for conservation. By improving our understanding of connectivity, and through its explicit incorporation into conservation, we may have greater success in restoring biodiversity and functioning of ecosystems.
Keyword Australia
Coral reef
Coral Triangle
Great Barrier Reef
Landscape ecology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2014 Collection
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 08 Sep 2013, 00:18:52 EST by System User on behalf of School of Civil Engineering