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HMSC Research Seminar-Linking models and data for adaptive management of Marine Protected Areas

Speaker: Will White, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, COMES, Oregon State University

Topic:  Linking models and data for adaptive management of Marine Protected Areas


Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an increasingly common conservation and management tool worldwide. Typically, managers expect that after fishing ceases inside an MPA, previously fished populations will steadily increase in abundance as they return to unfished levels. Hence adaptive management typically involves examining the ratio of fish density after:before MPA implementation or inside:outside MPAs. However, the expectation of a steady, positive increase in population density inside MPAs is complicated by two factors: A) the expected increase depends on the level of fishing pre-MPA, which is usually unknown, and B) high variability in larval recruitment to populations in MPAs, both over time (pulses and droughts) and over space (hotspots and coldspots) makes post-MPA trajectories variable.  I use examples from southern and central Califoria MPAs to show how we can use dynamic and statistical models to address these problems. First, I show how we can use dynamic models to estimate the pre-MPA fishing rate and make short-term forecasts for population trajectories. Then, in a more data-limited case, I show how statistical models reveal the strong influence of larval recruitment variability on overall fish abundance inside MPAs, but how MPA effects are still revealed by population size structure. Together these approaches can help guide short-term management decisions in an uncertain and highly variable coastal environment.

Thursday, May 9 at 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Hatfield Marine Science Center, Guin Library Seminar Room
2030 SE Marine Science Dr, Newport, OR 97365

Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic



Faculty and Staff, Student





Hatfield Marine Science Center
Contact Name

Cinamon Moffett

Contact Email

Contact Phone


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