| Development of interdisciplinary criteria to identify priority candidate no-take marine protected areas in Puerto Rico Integration of ecosystem-based and community-based models - :575 | Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP)
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Development of interdisciplinary criteria to identify priority candidate no-take marine protected areas in Puerto Rico Integration of ecosystem-based and community-based models
  • Published Date:
    2009
Filetype[PDF-3.65 MB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    Coral Reef Conservation Program (U.S.)
  • Description:
    "This study clearly suggested that coral reef fish communities within ALCNR were showing unequivocal signs of crisis. Populations of the most significant fishery-targeted species were significantly depleted, apex predators were largely absent from most reefs, the most significant predators were small or medium-sized intermediate predators, and herbivore guilds were dominant across most sites (i.e., abundance, biomass). Several fish functional groups were largely depleted through most of the study sites, particularly in areas subjected to very intense recreational activities, including spearfishing. Piscivore guilds were the most affected. Further, benthic communities were also reflecting major recent declines in % coral cover, particularly in the most significant reef-building taxa. This has been largely the result of chronic water quality degradation (i.e., recurrent polluted runoff pulses from the Fajardo coast), variable human recreational impacts (i.e., anchoring), and the massive coral mortality event of 2006 that followed the 2005 unprecedented sea surface warming event and bleaching episode. The actual status of coral reef fish communities within ALCNR is a major cause of concern that requires 205 rapid action to significantly reduce or eliminate consumptive uses through the establishment of a network of small, discrete no-take MPAs"--Conclusions.

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