Synergistic effects of reserves and connectivity on ecological resilience

  • Published source details Olds A.D., Pitt K.A., Maxwell P.S. & Connolly R.M. (2012) Synergistic effects of reserves and connectivity on ecological resilience. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management, 49, 1195-1203.


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 replicated, site-comparison study in 2009–2011 at five coral reefs in the Coral Sea, Australia (Olds et al. 2012) found that prohibiting all fishing within a no-take marine reserve for over 12 years increased the diversity and biomass of herbivorous fish compared to non-reserve reference areas at reefs close to, but not distant from, mangrove forests. At reefs close to mangroves, herbivore species richness was higher inside the reserve (8 species/200 m2) than outside (5 species/200 m2), but similar for reefs further away from mangroves (inside: 5, outside: 4 species/200 m2). Herbivore biomass at reefs close to mangroves was also higher inside the reserve (inside: 14, outside: 7 g/m2), mainly due to the higher biomass of roving browsers and black rabbitfish Siganus fuscescens (data reported as statistical model results), and similar at distant reefs (inside: 3, outside: 2 g/m2). In addition, across both near and far reefs the biomass of roving grazers, the Australian sawtail Prionirus microlepidotus and the blue-barred parrotfish Scarus ghobban was higher at reserve than non-reserve reefs (data reported as statistical model results). Fish were surveyed along five replicate 50 × 4 m underwater transects at low tide at one protected reef and four unprotected reefs in the Moreton Bay Marine Park, eastern Australia, from November 2009 to January 2011. The protected reef is a no-take reserve where all fishing is banned (since 1997). At each location one reef close (<250 m) to mangroves and one distant (>500 m) from mangroves were sampled.

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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