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Intertidal species richness and abundances in a recent small Marine Protected Area in Portugal: lack of effects from protection suggests changing strategies in the future

Pagnier, Justine (2020) BION02 20201
Degree Projects in Biology
Abstract
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are being created around the world as the concern on species and habitats preservation is growing. A widespread concern related to the important lack of regulation and effective conservation measures has been raised, calling the attention to the importance of no-take areas within MPA’s. To justify more restrictive management decisions, it is essential to collect data and obtain baseline information that will allow to disentangle natural oscillations in ecosystems from human driven unbalances. This thesis focuses on the Avencas Marine Protected Area (AMPA), created in 2016. The intertidal biodiversity within the MPA has been compared with the one from surrounding areas. More than a hundred species of fish,... (More)
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are being created around the world as the concern on species and habitats preservation is growing. A widespread concern related to the important lack of regulation and effective conservation measures has been raised, calling the attention to the importance of no-take areas within MPA’s. To justify more restrictive management decisions, it is essential to collect data and obtain baseline information that will allow to disentangle natural oscillations in ecosystems from human driven unbalances. This thesis focuses on the Avencas Marine Protected Area (AMPA), created in 2016. The intertidal biodiversity within the MPA has been compared with the one from surrounding areas. More than a hundred species of fish, invertebrates and algae have been morphologically and/or genetically identified from November 2019 to July 2020. DNA barcoding has been a key tool in this project, highlighting its high help potential to monitor MPAs and non-indigenous species (NIS) presence. The results showed no differences between species richness and abundances inside and outside the AMPA, suggesting the need of its geographical expansion, more restrictive regulations and/or stronger enforcement measures to reduce the impact of fishing or other recreative activities, and the pressure created by high human presence on this coast. Slightly higher intertidal abundances in the east side of AMPA suggest that there is an interesting community to protect there and that a potential eastward expansion of the protection would be more effective, especially knowing that larger protected areas usually have a higher effectiveness. Complementary protection measures could also include a community observed along the West coast near Cabo Raso. This region, 10km westward from the AMPA, encompasses an exposed rock coastal area with a complex topography. A new larger MPA would increase the effectiveness protecting coastal marine biodiversity in this region. (Less)
Popular Abstract
A new case of “Paper Park” detected in Portugal: our oceans need different protection strategies in the future!

“If the ocean dies, we die.” – Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are being created around the world as the concern on species and habitats preservation is growing. A widespread concern related to the important lack of regulation and effective conservation measures has been raised, calling the attention to the importance of no-take areas within MPAs. To justify more restrictive management decisions, it is essential to collect data and obtain baseline information that will allow to disentangle natural oscillations in ecosystems from human driven unbalances.

This... (More)
A new case of “Paper Park” detected in Portugal: our oceans need different protection strategies in the future!

“If the ocean dies, we die.” – Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are being created around the world as the concern on species and habitats preservation is growing. A widespread concern related to the important lack of regulation and effective conservation measures has been raised, calling the attention to the importance of no-take areas within MPAs. To justify more restrictive management decisions, it is essential to collect data and obtain baseline information that will allow to disentangle natural oscillations in ecosystems from human driven unbalances.

This thesis focused on the case of the Avencas Marine Protected Area (AMPA), created in 2016 on the Portuguese coast. The intertidal biodiversity within the MPA has been compared with the one from surrounding areas. More than a hundred species of fish, invertebrates and algae have been morphologically and/or genetically identified and monitored from November 2019 to July 2020.

First, during the species genetic identification, this thesis brought new data concerning DNA sequences of some bivalve species (including one invasive species) in the public databases. This is contributing to the development of one DNA sequencing technique, called barcoding, to surveil MPAs’ biodiversity.

The results of the comparison showed no differences between species richness and abundances inside and outside the AMPA, suggesting the need of its geographical expansion, more restrictive regulations and/or stronger enforcement measures to reduce the impact of fishing or other recreative activities, and the overall pressure created by high human presence on this coast.

Slightly higher intertidal abundances in the east side of AMPA suggest that there is an interesting community to preserve there and that a potential eastward expansion of the protection would be more effective. In fact, larger protected areas usually have a higher effectiveness as flora and fauna have a wider territory to expand and to benefit from the protection measures.

Complementary protection measures could also include a community observed along the West coast near Cabo Raso. This region, 10km westward from the AMPA, encompasses an exposed rock coastal area with a complex topography. We found that there is a tendency to a higher species richness on this coast. A new larger MPA would increase the effectiveness protecting coastal marine biodiversity in this region and would also increase the connectivity between MPAs.


Master’s Degree Project in Biology 45 credits 2020
Department of Biology, Lund University

Advisor: Frederico Almada
Marine and Environmental Sciences Center, Lissabon (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Pagnier, Justine
supervisor
organization
course
BION02 20201
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
9038392
date added to LUP
2021-01-27 15:29:02
date last changed
2021-01-27 15:29:02
@misc{9038392,
  abstract     = {Marine protected areas (MPAs) are being created around the world as the concern on species and habitats preservation is growing. A widespread concern related to the important lack of regulation and effective conservation measures has been raised, calling the attention to the importance of no-take areas within MPA’s. To justify more restrictive management decisions, it is essential to collect data and obtain baseline information that will allow to disentangle natural oscillations in ecosystems from human driven unbalances. This thesis focuses on the Avencas Marine Protected Area (AMPA), created in 2016. The intertidal biodiversity within the MPA has been compared with the one from surrounding areas. More than a hundred species of fish, invertebrates and algae have been morphologically and/or genetically identified from November 2019 to July 2020. DNA barcoding has been a key tool in this project, highlighting its high help potential to monitor MPAs and non-indigenous species (NIS) presence. The results showed no differences between species richness and abundances inside and outside the AMPA, suggesting the need of its geographical expansion, more restrictive regulations and/or stronger enforcement measures to reduce the impact of fishing or other recreative activities, and the pressure created by high human presence on this coast. Slightly higher intertidal abundances in the east side of AMPA suggest that there is an interesting community to protect there and that a potential eastward expansion of the protection would be more effective, especially knowing that larger protected areas usually have a higher effectiveness. Complementary protection measures could also include a community observed along the West coast near Cabo Raso. This region, 10km westward from the AMPA, encompasses an exposed rock coastal area with a complex topography. A new larger MPA would increase the effectiveness protecting coastal marine biodiversity in this region.},
  author       = {Pagnier, Justine},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Intertidal species richness and abundances in a recent small Marine Protected Area in Portugal: lack of effects from protection suggests changing strategies in the future},
  year         = {2020},
}