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Benedetti-Cecchi_et_al-2024-Nature_Communications.pdf (26.89 MB)

Marine protected areas promote stability of reef fish communities under climate warming

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-05, 06:40 authored by Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi, Amanda E Bates, Giovanni Strona, Fabio Bulleri, Barbara Costa, Graham EdgarGraham Edgar, Bernat Hereu, Dan C Reed, Richard Stuart-SmithRichard Stuart-Smith, Neville BarrettNeville Barrett, David J Kushner, Michael J Emslie, Jose Antonio Garcia-Charton, Emanuel J Goncalves, Eneko Aspillaga

Protection from direct human impacts can safeguard marine life, yet ocean warming crosses marine protected area boundaries. Here, we test whether protection offers resilience to marine heatwaves from local to network scales. We examine 71,269 timeseries of population abundances for 2269 reef fish species surveyed in 357 protected versus 747 open sites worldwide. We quantify the stability of reef fish abundance from populations to metacommunities, considering responses of species and functional diversity including thermal affinity of different trophic groups. Overall, protection mitigates adverse effects of marine heatwaves on fish abundance, community stability, asynchronous fluctuations and functional richness. We find that local stability is positively related to distance from centers of high human density only in protected areas. We provide evidence that networks of protected areas have persistent reef fish communities in warming oceans by maintaining large populations and promoting stability at different levels of biological organization.

Funding

Use of Marine Protected Areas to Assess Effects of Fishing on Temperate Reef Communities : Australian Research Council | A00001077

History

Sub-type

  • Article

Publication title

Nature Communications

Volume

15

Issue

1

Article number

1822

Pagination

17

eISSN

2041-1723

ISSN

2041-1723

Department/School

Ecology and Biodiversity

Publisher

NATURE PORTFOLIO

Publication status

  • Published

Rights statement

Copyright 2024 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

14 Life Below Water, 15 Life on Land

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