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Marine protected areas (MPAs) have grown exponentially, emerging as a widespread tool to conserve biodiversity and enhance fisheries production. Although numerous empirical studies and global syntheses have evaluated the effects of MPAs on community structure (e.g., biodiversity), no broad assessment concerning their capacity to influence ecological processes (e.g., species interactions) exists. Here, we present meta-analyses that compare rates of predation and herbivory on a combined 32 species across 30 MPAs spanning 85° of latitude. Our analyses synthesize the fate of 15,225 field experiment assays, and demonstrate that MPAs greatly increased predation intensity on animals but not herbivory on macroalgae or seagrass. Predation risk, quantified as the odds of prey being eaten, was largely determined by predator abundance and biomass within reserves. At MPAs with the greatest predator accumulation, the odds of predation increased to nearly 49:1, as opposed to 1:1 at MPAs where predators actually declined. Surprisingly, we also found evidence that predation risk declined with increased sea-surface temperature. Greater predation risk within MPAs was consistent with predator and prey population abundance estimates, where predators increased 4.4-fold within MPAs, whereas prey decreased 2.2-fold. For herbivory, the lack of change may have been driven by functional redundancy and the inability of reserves to increase herbivore abundance relative to fished zones in our sample. Overall, this work highlights the capacity of MPAs to restore a critical ecosystem function such as predation, which mediates energy flows and community assembly within natural systems. However, our review of the literature also uncovers relatively few studies that have quantified the effects of MPAs on ecosystem function, highlighting a key gap in our understanding of how protected areas may alter ecological processes and deliver ecosystem services. From a historical perspective, these findings suggest that modern levels of predation in the coastal oceans may currently only be a fraction of the baseline prior to human exploitation.
This article was published in the following journal.
Nanotechnology has become one of the most in demand technologies applied in different fields of science. Metallic nanoparticles synthesis using marine microorganisms has been received global attention...
Ecosystems are widely interconnected by spatial flows of material, but the overall importance of these flows relative to local ecosystem functioning remains unclear. Here we provide a quantitative syn...
Global warming is significantly altering arctic marine ecosystems. Specifically, the precipitous loss of sea ice is creating a dichotomy between ice-dependent polar bears and pinnipeds that are losing...
Climate change effects on marine ecosystems include impacts on primary production, ocean temperature, species distributions and abundance at local to global scales. These changes will significantly al...
The term Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs) refers to areas which are not protected areas and yet significantly contribute to conservation; they were recently defined by the Convention on B...
1. To determine the feasibility and acceptability of the Care Ecosystem program in the Ochsner clinical setting. 2. To assess the effect of the Care Ecosystem program on health car...
The aim of this study is to investigate the potential effect of a marine protein hydrolysate (MPH) supplement before a meal on postprandial glucose tolerance in healthy subjects, to achiev...
This is a long-term intervention study on the effects of marine n-3 PUFAs in renal transplantation. Our hypothesis is that patients treated with marine n-3 PUFA supplementation will have l...
The primary objective of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of Ca and vitamin D supplementation provided daily throughou...
The potential use of marine protein hydrolysates (MPH) as a supplement with similar or better health benefits than a regular white fish meal, can be regarded both cost-effective, environme...
Measure of the burden of disease using the disability-adjusted-life-year (DALY). This time-based measure combines years of life lost due to premature mortality and years of life lost due to time lived in states of less than full health. The metric was developed to assess the burden of disease consistently across diseases, risk factors and regions.
Ongoing collection, analysis, and interpretation of ecological data that is used to assess changes in the components, processes, and overall condition and functioning of an ECOSYSTEM.
Increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns.
Cells, usually bacteria or yeast, which have partially lost their cell wall, lost their characteristic shape and become round.
Infectious diseases originating in one geographically delineated ecosystem that are carried (by travel or immigration) to another geographically delineated ecosystem by an infected individual, animal, or disease vector.
Immunoassay - ELISA
Immunoassays are quick and accurate tests to detect specific molecules. Immunoassays rely on an antibody to bind to the specific structure of a molecule. Antibodies are proteins generated by animals in response to the invasion of a foreign molecule (anti...