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WP1- Methods for assessing ecological coherence of MPA networks

Creator : Marija Sciberras, David Rodríguez-Rodríguez
Date : 29/11/2013

Identifying and protecting marine features through the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) is an important step towards conserving biodiversity, yet it is insufficient from an ecological perspective. An ecologically coherent network of well-managed MPAs is now a requirement of a number of international, regional and national directives to effectively protect biodiversity. This means having a network of well-conserved MPAs representing the full variety of a region's ecosystems, with sites close enough together to allow movement of individuals among them.
A number of criteria are used to assess the ecological coherence of MPA networks via a variety of methods. Here, the approaches, techniques and data collection methods that may be used to assess the ecological coherence of MPA networks are examined. Expert knowledge-based methods, matrix reporting and GIS-based spatial analyses are discussed.

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