ADAPTING BIOPHYSICAL PRINCIPLES FOR MARINE RESERVE DESIGN FROM CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS TO ROCKY REEFS IN A TEMPERATE SYSTEM IN THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA
The Gulf of California is a biodiversity hotspot and supplies more than half of Mexico's fisheries. We adapted biophysical marine reserve design principles originally developed for coral reefs to the unique evolutionary, oceanographic and ecological characteristics of the Gulf of California. While the amount of habitat representation and replication within reserves could be similar to that recommended elsewhere, this approach would need to be replicated within three well-defined biogeographic sub-regions. Unique sites for protection include hydrothermal vents, the northern most coral reef in the eastern tropical pacific, places showing exceptional richness of endemics and overall species diversity and sites with high productivity year-round. Given that strong, unidirectional oceanographic currents reversing direction twice a year characterizes the area and larval dispersal is ~100 km, reserves should be spaced 50-100 km apart and the location of reserves should consider the reproductive timing of the focal species (e.g. locate reserves upstream of fishing sites in relation to the direction of the predominant flow). Recovery times should be similar to other places (20-40 years), but consider local baselines. In terms of climate change, habitats and species more likely to be resistant should be prioritized. Climate change might affect larval dispersal, species' distribution, growth, reproduction, and ecosystem function and dynamics, which may require modifying recommendations about habitat representation and replication, size, spacing duration and location in future.
Munguia-Vega, A., Comunidad y Biodiversidad A.C., Mexico, firstname.lastname@example.org
Suarez-Castillo, A. N., Comunidad y Biodiversidad A.C., Mexico, email@example.com
Espinosa-Romero, M. J., Comunidad y Biodiversidad A.C., Mexico, firstname.lastname@example.org
Green, A. L., The Nature Conservancy, Australia, email@example.com
Location: 302 A/B
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