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.