6. Feb, 2016

Marine protected areas and biodiversity

Marine  protected  areas (MPAs)  are often created without previous research  on the different species living in these areas.  According to some marine biologists the underlying  motives to  select a certain area are often political,  and not based on sufficient research of the area. In addition,  the larger  the areas the more  difficult it becomes  to control the regulations necessary to protect the species.

 MPAs  are important to protect  bioversity.  In  this context, 'protected areas are indisputably the flagship tool for protecting both ecosystems and biodiversity by limiting direct human impacts’ says David Mouillot, a marine ecologist.  Mouillot investigated 804 different corals species and 450 different labridae, frequent visitors of  coral reefs  in  the world. Phylogenetic diversity is one of the key components of biodiversity. However, 'the existing global system of MPAs does not meet the minimum levels considered necessary to adequately protect the Tree of Life for corals or fishes’.  Rare species of corals and fish  that have different position in the three of life are usually not protected  on the same scale as  more frequent and  related species. Despite the fact that distinct lineages may perform unusual or complementary roles that are vital for its function.

http://www.natureasia.com/en/research/highlight/10442