Caribbean connectivity: implications for Marine Protected Area Management. Proceedings of a Special Symposium, 9-11 November 2006, 59th Annual Meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Belize City, Belize

Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki and Keller, Brian D. (eds.) (2008) Caribbean connectivity: implications for Marine Protected Area Management. Proceedings of a Special Symposium, 9-11 November 2006, 59th Annual Meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Belize City, Belize. Silver Spring, MD, NOAA/National Ocean Service/Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, (Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series, ONMS-0)

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Abstract

Executive Summary: Tropical marine ecosystems in the Caribbean region are inextricably linked through the movement of pollutants, nutrients, diseases, and other stressors, which threaten to further degrade coral reef communities. The magnitude of change that is occurring within the region is considerable, and solutions will require investigating pros and cons of networks of marine protected areas (MPAs), cooperation of neighboring countries, improved understanding of how external stressors degrade local marine resources, and ameliorating those stressors. Connectivity can be broadly defined as the exchange of materials (e.g., nutrients and pollutants), organisms, and genes and can be divided into: 1) genetic or evolutionary connectivity that concerns the exchange of organisms and genes, 2) demographic connectivity, which is the exchange of individuals among local groups, and 3) oceanographic connectivity, which includes flow of materials and circulation patterns and variability that underpin much of all these exchanges. Presently, we understand little about connectivity at specific locations beyond model outputs, and yet we must manage MPAs with connectivity in mind. A key to successful MPA management is how to most effectively work with scientists to acquire the information managers need. Oceanography connectivity is poorly understood, and even less is known about the shape of the dispersal curve for most species. Dispersal kernels differ for various systems, species, and life histories and are likely highly variable in space and time. Furthermore, the implications of different dispersal kernels on population dynamics and management of species is unknown. However, small dispersal kernels are the norm - not the exception. Linking patterns of dispersal to management options is difficult given the present state of knowledge. The behavioral component of larval dispersal has a major impact on where larvae settle. Individual larval behavior and life history details are required to produce meaningful simulations of population connectivity. Biological inputs are critical determinants of dispersal outcomes beyond what can be gleaned from models of passive dispersal. There is considerable temporal and spatial variation to connectivity patterns. New models are increasingly being developed, but these must be validated to understand upstream-downstream neighborhoods, dispersal corridors, stepping stones, and source/sink dynamics. At present, models are mainly useful for providing generalities and generating hypotheses. Low-technology approaches such as drifter vials and oceanographic drogues are useful, affordable options for understanding local connectivity. The “silver bullet” approach to MPA design may not be possible for several reasons. Genetic connectivity studies reveal divergent population genetic structures despite similar larval life histories. Historical stochasticity in reproduction and/or recruitment likely has important, longlasting consequences on present day genetic structure. (PDF has 200 pages.)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Caribbean connectivity: implications for Marine Protected Area Management. Proceedings of a Special Symposium, 9-11 November 2006, 59th Annual Meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Belize City, Belize
Editors:
EditorsEmail
Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki
Keller, Brian D.
Series Name: Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series
Number: ONMS-0
Date: 2008
Publisher: NOAA/National Ocean Service/Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Place of Publication: Silver Spring, MD
Issuing Agency: United States National Ocean Service
Uncontrolled Keywords: marine protected areas; Caribbean
Subjects: Conservation
Management
Environment
Item ID: 2267
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2009 20:24
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 19:21
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/2267

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