Community Change within a Caribbean Coral Reef Marine Protected Area following Two Decades of Local Management

Authors of this study examine effects of spatial zoning and management of the Saba Marine Park (Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean) on coral reef communities over 21 years of MPA establishment. Results of the MPA are mixed for effects on fish density, biomass and species richness. Marginally higher biomass of certain fish species was found in no-fishing zones, but usually only in shallow habitats. Live hard coral cover declined between 1991–1995 and 2008, which may be the cause of changes in reef fish communities despite MPA regulations. Results suggest that environmental stressors and habitat loss may be symptomatic of wider trends occurring throughout the Caribbean that are beyond MPA influence.

Author: Noble, M.M., G. van Laake, M.L. Berumen, and C.J. Fulton. 2013
Year: 2013
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PLoS ONE 8(1): e54069. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054069

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