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Species, trophic, and functional diversity in marine protected and non-protected areas

AutorVillamor, Adriana; Becerro, Mikel
Palabras claveReserve Effect
Functional Diversity
Trophic Diversity
Community Organization
Shallow Rocky Benthos
Mediterranean Sea
Fecha de publicación2012
CitaciónJournal of Sea Research 73: 109-116 (2012)
ResumenThe number of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) has grown exponentially in the last decades as marine environments steadily deteriorate. The success of MPAs stems from the overall positive benefits attributed to the “reserve effect,” the totality of the consequences of protecting marine systems. The reserve effect includes but is beyond the goal of protecting particular species or areas with economical or cultural value. However, most data on the effects of MPAs focus on target species and there is limited evidence for the consequences of protection at larger levels of organization. Quantitative information on the reserve effect remains elusive partly because of its complex nature. Data on biodiversity can be used to quantify the reserve effect if not restricted to specific taxonomic groups. In our study, we quantified species diversity, trophic diversity, and an approach to functional diversity in five MPAs and adjacent non-protected areas along the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Our three measures of diversity were based on the abundance of algae, fish, sessile and mobile invertebrates in shallow water rocky communities and could be used to estimate the reserve effect based on species, trophic levels, or functional roles. We tested the hypothesis that species, trophic, and functional diversity were higher in protected areas than in adjacent non-protected areas. Species diversity varied with geographic area but not with protection status. However, we found higher functional diversity inside MPAs. Also, the effect of protection on functional diversity varied as a function of the geographic area. Our results support the uniqueness of MPAs at a species level and the universality of the reserve effect at the level of the trophic groups' composition. This type of comprehensive ecological approach may broaden our understanding of MPAs and their efficiency as management tools.
Descripción8 páginas, 4 figuras, 4 tablas.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2012.07.002
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