Habitat connectivity improves reserve performance

  • Published source details Olds A.D., Connolly R.M., Pitt K.A. & Maxwell P.S. (2012) Habitat connectivity improves reserve performance. Conservation Science Western Australia, 5, 56-63.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

    A site comparison study in 2009–2010 at seven mangrove and coral reef sites in Moreton Bay, Coral Sea, Australia (Olds et al. 2012) found that prohibiting all fishing inside a marine reserve for over 12 years resulted in greater fish density of three of four fish groups at coral reefs and one of four in mangroves, compared to non-reserve areas, and was influenced by proximity to other habitat types. At no-take coral reef areas close to mangroves, fish density of three of four fish groups was higher than non-reserve areas (harvested: 65–159 vs 42–96, herbivorous: 75–138 vs 34–79, piscivorous: 22–39 vs 13–26 fish/200 m2), but the density of prey fish species was lower (reserve: 77, non-reserve: 145 fish/200 m2). Reserve coral reef areas far from mangroves had greater fish density for piscivorous fish only compared to non-reserve areas (28–30 vs 19–22 fish/200 m2). Mangroves in reserve areas near coral reefs had greater densities of piscivorous fish (reserve: 37, non-reserve: 18 fish/200 m2) but lower densities of prey fish (reserve: 41, non-reserve: 255 fish/200 m2). Reef fish were surveyed in summer 2009–2010 inside a no-take marine reserve, protected since 1997, and at six non-reserve sites in Morton Bay (0–25 km away). At each site, two coral and three mangrove areas were sampled. On coral reef, fish were sampled along five, 50 by 4 m transects at each site by underwater visual census. Fish in mangroves were surveyed at high tide using underwater transects and fyke nets.

    (Summarised by: Khatija Alliji)

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