Optimising land-sea management for inshore coral reefs

Gilby, Ben L., Olds, Andrew D., Connolly, Rod M., Stevens, Tim, Henderson, Christopher J., Maxwell, Paul S., Tibbetts, Ian R., Schoeman, David S., Rissik, David and Schlacher, Thomas A. (2016) Optimising land-sea management for inshore coral reefs. PLoS ONE, 11 10: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164934


Author Gilby, Ben L.
Olds, Andrew D.
Connolly, Rod M.
Stevens, Tim
Henderson, Christopher J.
Maxwell, Paul S.
Tibbetts, Ian R.
Schoeman, David S.
Rissik, David
Schlacher, Thomas A.
Title Optimising land-sea management for inshore coral reefs
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2016-10-20
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0164934
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 10
Total pages 17
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Abstract Management authorities seldom have the capacity to comprehensively address the full suite of anthropogenic stressors, particularly in the coastal zone where numerous threats can act simultaneously to impact reefs and other ecosystems. This situation requires tools to prioritise management interventions that result in optimum ecological outcomes under a set of constraints. Here we develop one such tool, introducing a Bayesian Belief Network to model the ecological condition of inshore coral reefs in Moreton Bay (Australia) under a range of management actions. Empirical field data was used to model a suite of possible ecological responses of coral reef assemblages to five key management actions both in the sea (e.g. expansion of reserves, mangrove & seagrass restoration, fishing restrictions) and on land (e.g. lower inputs of sediment and sewage from treatment plants). Models show that expanding marine reserves (a ‘marine action’) and reducing sediment inputs from the catchments (a ‘land action’) were the most effective investments to achieve a better status of reefs in the Bay, with both having been included in >58% of scenarios with positive outcomes, and >98% of the most effective (5th percentile) scenarios. Heightened fishing restrictions, restoring habitats, and reducing nutrient discharges from wastewater treatment plants have additional, albeit smaller effects. There was no evidence that combining individual management actions would consistently produce sizeable synergistic until after maximum investment on both marine reserves (i.e. increasing reserve extent from 31 to 62% of reefs) and sediments (i.e. rehabilitating 6350 km of waterways within catchments to reduce sediment loads by 50%) were implemented. The method presented here provides a useful tool to prioritize environmental actions in situations where multiple competing management interventions exist for coral reefs and in other systems subjected to multiple stressor from the land and the sea.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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