A new paper in PLoS ONE by Michael Bode and colleagues from James Cook University demonstrates how conservation planning can be done simultaneously for both biodiversity pattern and process. The paper addresses two key challenges to designing marine reserve networks: 1. constructing a method that efficiently incorporates persistence as well as complementary feature representation; and 2. incorporating persistence using a mechanistic description of population viability, rather than a proxy such as size or distance. The study describes a novel method for systematic conservation planning, parameterised to design a hypothetical marine reserve network for fringing coral reefs in the Keppel Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Although the new method can be applied readily to the data-rich Keppel Islands case study, the paper also considers the factors that limit the method’s utility in information-poor contexts common in marine conservation.
Citation: Bode M, Williamson DH, Weeks R, Jones GP, Almany GR, Harrison HB, et al. (2016) Planning Marine Reserve Networks for Both Feature Representation and Demographic Persistence Using Connectivity Patterns. PLoS ONE 11(5): e0154272. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154272