Speaker: Jess Hopf, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar, Oregon State University
Topic: Marine protected areas in a dynamic and changing world
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a primary conservation and management strategy worldwide, advocated for their potential to conserve biodiversity, rebuild fish stocks, and promote resilience against the effects of climate change. The dynamics of marine species is influenced by natural and anthropogenic changes in the environment and understanding how these dynamics interact with MPAs is critical to better adaptive management. This is especially relevant now as marine systems are experiencing increasing stress due to climate change. Focusing on fishery-targeted species, I will discuss the roles that MPAs can play in mitigating the effects of highly dynamic environments, such as those subject to frequent disturbances, and how the dynamic nature of populations can affect our ability to detect MPA effects. Using case studies from the U.S. west coast and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, I show that MPAs can stabilize fish population and fisheries and increase resilience, but that MPA design is crucial to enhancing these benefits. I also show that the probability of detecting abundance build-up within MPAs depends on when the reserve was established relative to changes in critical habitats and pulses in the recruitment of young. Understanding how MPAs interact with fluctuating environments to affect the population dynamics of fished species allows us to better monitor and quantify MPA effects and lets us set more realistic expectations for MPAs.
Thursday, November 19 at 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Hatfield Marine Science Center
2030 SE Marine Science Dr, Newport, OR 97365