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Conservation of coastal marine communities:
Lessons from marine protected areas

Fiorenza Micheli, Ph.D.
Hopkins Marine Station

 Wednesday, May 29, 2002
3:00 p.m.–Pacific Forum

Marine coastal ecosystems worldwide are subject to multiple anthropogenic disturbances from fisheries exploitation, habitat destruction, introduction of exotics species, and pollution. These disturbances alter the structure and dynamics of multiple species and their interactions. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are increasingly recognized as a holistic approach to the conservation and management of coastal marine ecosystems, protecting not only the species targeted by fisheries, but also habitat and community interactions. Existing and proposed MPAs provide the opportunity for large-scale experiments to investigate human impacts on coastal ecosystems and evaluate the effectiveness of  conserving and restoring marine communities. I will present results of studies conducted within and around MPAs in California and in the Mediterranean Sea.
I will draw generalizations from syntheses of published studies of effects of MPAs and discuss current approaches to the design and establishment of MPAs.

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