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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Continuing trophic cascade effects after 25 years of no-take marine reserve protection

Published source details

Shears N. & Babcock R. (2003) Continuing trophic cascade effects after 25 years of no-take marine reserve protection. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 246, 1-16


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Designate a Marine Protected Area and prohibit all types of fishing Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

A site comparison study in 1999–2001 of eight sites in two rocky areas in the South Pacific Ocean, New Zealand (Shears & Babcock 2003) found that designating a marine protected area prohibiting all fishing (no-take reserve) had mixed effects on invertebrate abundances depending on species, after 23–25 years. Abundance of Cook’s turban snails Cookia sulcata was higher at sites inside the reserve (2–16 individuals/m2) compared to fished sites outside (1–2), but abundance of star limpets Cellana stellifera was lower inside (0–2). compared to outside (0–6). Abundances were similar at sites inside and outside the reserve for the green top shells Trochus viridis (inside: 0–12; outside: 0–10) and red opal top shells Cantharidus purpureus (inside: 1–14; outside: 0–22). Leigh Marine Reserve (no-take area) was established in 1975 (date taken from (3) summarised above). Annually in summer in 1999–2001, four sites inside and four outside the reserve were sampled. Invertebrates were counted in twenty 1 m2 quadrats/site (2–10 m depth).

(Summarised by Anaëlle Lemasson)