Incorporating surrogate species and seascape connectivity to improve marine conservation outcomes

Olds, Andrew D., Connolly, Rod M., Pitt, Kylie A., Maxwell, Paul S., Aswani, Shankar and Albert, Simon (2014) Incorporating surrogate species and seascape connectivity to improve marine conservation outcomes. Conservation Biology, 28 4: 982-991. doi:10.1111/cobi.12242

Author Olds, Andrew D.
Connolly, Rod M.
Pitt, Kylie A.
Maxwell, Paul S.
Aswani, Shankar
Albert, Simon
Title Incorporating surrogate species and seascape connectivity to improve marine conservation outcomes
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2014-08
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.12242
Open Access Status
Volume 28
Issue 4
Start page 982
End page 991
Total pages 10
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ United States
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Conservation focuses on maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but gaps in our knowledge of species biology and ecological processes often impede progress. For this reason, focal species and habitats are used as surrogates for multispecies conservation, but species-based approaches are not widely adopted in marine ecosystems. Reserves in the Solomon Islands were designed on the basis of local ecological knowledge to conserve bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) and to protect food security and ecosystem functioning. Bumphead parrotfish are an iconic threatened species and may be a useful surrogate for multispecies conservation. They move across tropical seascapes throughout their life history, in a pattern of habitat use that is shared with many other species. We examined their value as a conservation surrogate and assessed the importance of seascape connectivity (i.e., the physical connectedness of patches in the seascape) among reefs, mangroves, and seagrass to marine reserve performance. Reserves were designed for bumphead parrotfish, but also enhanced the abundance of other species. Integration of local ecological knowledge and seascape connectivity enhanced the abundance of 17 other harvested fish species in local reserves. This result has important implications for ecosystem functioning and local villagers because many of these species perform important ecological processes and provide the foundation for extensive subsistence fisheries. Our findings suggest greater success in maintaining and restoring marine ecosystems may be achieved when they are managed to conserve surrogate species and preserve functional seascape connections.
Keyword Coral reef
Coral triangle
Marine reserve
Solomon islands
Spatial conservation planning
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 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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