In this study of benthic invertebrates in Baja California, Mexico, the authors examined the effects of marine reserves on the population of an abalone after a mass mortality event. After widespread death of the economically valuable pink abalone, Haliotis corrugata (possibly as a result of climate-driven hypoxia), juvenile replenishment stayed stable within marine reserves. The local protection of the marine reserve provided resilience and faster recovery for the pink abalone populations due to large body size and high egg production of adults within the reserves.
This study contributes much-needed empirical evidence to support the establishment of marine protected areas as a valuable management tool for local communities.
Author: Micheli, F., A. Saenz-Arroyo, A. Greenley, L. Vazquez, J.A. Espinoza Montes, M. Rossetto, and G.A. De Leo
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PLoS ONE 7(7):e40832. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040832