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Marine protected areas (MPAs) are important conservation tools that can support the resilience of marine ecosystems. Many countries, including Canada, have committed to protecting at least 10% of their marine areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi Target 11, which includes connectivity as a key aspect. Connectivity, the movement of individuals among habitats, can enhance population stability and resilience within and among MPAs. However, little is known about regional spatial patterns of marine ecological connectivity, particularly adult movement. We developed a method to assess and design MPA networks that maximize inferred connectivity within habitat types for adult movement when ecological data are limited. We used the Northern Shelf Bioregion in British Columbia, Canada, to explore two different approaches: 1) evaluating sites important for inferred regional connectivity (termed hotspots); and 2) assessing MPA network configurations based on their overlap with connectivity hotspots and interconnectedness between MPAs. To assess inferred connectivity via adult movement, we used two different threshold distances (15 km and 50 km) to capture moderate home ranges, which are most appropriate to consider in MPA design. We applied graph theory to assess inferred connectivity within sixteen habitat and depth categories (proxies for distinct ecological communities), and used novel multiplex network methodologies to perform an aggregated assessment of inferred connectivity. We evaluated inferred regional connectivity hotspots based on betweenness and eigenvector centrality metrics, finding that the existing MPA network overlapped a moderate proportion of these regional hotspots, and identified key areas to be considered as candidate MPAs. Network density among existing MPAs was low within the individual habitat networks, as well as the multiplex. This work informs an ongoing MPA planning process, and approaches for incorporating connectivity into MPA design when data are limited, with lessons for other contexts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America
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A cellular phone with advanced computing and connectivity capability built on an operating system.
Any situation where an animal or human is trained to respond differentially to two stimuli (e.g., approach and avoidance) under reward and punishment conditions and subsequently trained under reversed reward values (i.e., the approach which was previously rewarded is punished and vice versa).
Mechanism by which changes in neural activity are tightly associated with regional cortical HEMODYNAMICS and metabolism changes. The association is often inferred from NEUROIMAGING signals (e.g., fMRI; or NIR SPECTROSCOPY).
The act, process, or result of passing from one place or position to another. It differs from LOCOMOTION in that locomotion is restricted to the passing of the whole body from one place to another, while movement encompasses both locomotion but also a change of the position of the whole body or any of its parts. Movement may be used with reference to humans, vertebrate and invertebrate animals, and microorganisms. Differentiate also from MOTOR ACTIVITY, movement associated with behavior.
Individuals connecting by family, work or other interests. It also includes connectivity facilitated by computer-based communications.
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