Research ArticleSCIENCE POLICY

Integrating climate adaptation and biodiversity conservation in the global ocean

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Science Advances  27 Nov 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 11, eaay9969
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay9969
  • Fig. 1 Literature review of climate change consideration in MPA design.

    (A) Number of studies from the review where MPA climate change adaptation strategies were broadly discussed, presented as a proof of concept, or implemented in practice, respectively. (B) Location and brief description of the six implemented examples. Green areas represent MPA locations from the World Database on Protected Areas (79). See main text for further discussion, including search limitations, and text and tables in the Supplementary Materials for full methodological details and results.

  • Fig. 2 Vulnerability of the existing global MPA network to climate change.

    (A) Bivariate map of the time of emergence and historical variability for the global ocean [see (B) for color axes] under a business-as-usual emissions scenario [Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5]. Time of emergence refers to the year when projected mean sea surface temperature (SST) at a given location exceeds the bounds of preindustrial conditions. Historical variability is the total thermal range calculated from a detrended 1900 to 2018 SST time series. (B) Quadrant plot of MPA position in climate emergence and historical variability space. Black points represent 1° × 1° grid cells within MPAs, with larger MPAs having more points based on overlap with SST data (see text in the Supplementary Materials for full methodological details). Histograms provide the distribution of MPAs along each axis. Percentage values indicate the proportion of MPA area (grid cells) in each quadrant; percentages in brackets indicate the proportion of the global ocean in each quadrant. Color scale is based on background distribution in global ocean.

  • Fig. 3 The need for climate-responsive management features.

    Climate-driven changes in mobile species, biogenic habitat features, and static geomorphological features (e.g., seamounts and ridges), with management measures (permanent and dynamic) superimposed (left column). In this example, under the current distribution percent coverage targets (e.g., Aichi Target 11 of 10% by 2020) will be met for many species, habitats, and features (right column). However, climate-driven shifts will affect future distributions such that these targets would no longer be met, as a result of species and biogenic habitats expanding, shrinking, disappearing, or moving in relation to static protected features (although some features may get increased protection if they move into MPAs). Dynamic closures (hashed boxes, Table 2) can help to fill the protection gap in a more rapid manner than simply extending or adding new MPAs; however, these dynamic areas will not count toward international targets unless they meet OECM criteria (see Table 3).

  • Table 1 Examples of climate change adaption objectives and possible actions.

    Objective with climate changeExample actions to
    operationalize
    Early detection of climate change
    impacts
    Enhanced multisensor monitoring
    Citizen science observer networks
    Use of sentinel species as
    indicators
    Protecting species or habitats that
    move
    Support migration of climate-
    displaced species or habitats
    with flexible design features or
    other management measures
    and protect from other
    stressors
    Enabling reorganization of
    ecosystems to retain functions
    and services under climate
    change
    Manage for resilience under a
    changing climate rather than
    assuming static features and
    outcomes
    Reassess and revise zoning and
    management plans to account
    for ecosystem and species
    shifts
    Specify climate mitigation into MPA
    network design and
    management objectives
    Maintaining representative MPA
    networks in a changing climate
    Include areas of high and low
    predicted climate resilience,
    future change, and adaptation
    potential in representative
    network design
    Use both static and dynamic
    features to better conserve
    ecosystems
    Better integrate conservation and
    fisheries management
    measures to augment one
    another
    Focus network around anchor-
    point static areas but integrate
    multiple tools including more
    dynamic and responsive
    approaches (see Table 2)
    Adapting to unforeseen
    conservation challenges and
    opportunities as climate change
    reconfigures ecosystems
    Move toward dynamic
    conservation objectives
    Update management plans and
    objectives a based on observed
    changes
    Collect stakeholder observations
    and feedback
  • Table 2 Climate design principles for the protected seascape.

    Different tools perform complementary functions within a climate-resilient conserved seascape.

    Management toolObjectives/characteristicsExamples
    Static toolsStatic MPAs (anchor points)Conservation of assemblages associated with
    static geomorphological features and other
    sites of present and future conservation
    importance
    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
    (Australia)
    Maintaining long-term monitoring (control/
    baseline) sites where climate impacts can be
    assessed in the absence of other stressors
    Galapagos Marine Reserve (Ecuador)
    Creating networks for meta-populations and
    fixed migration corridors
    Marianas Trench National Monument
    (USA)
    Static OECMsEffective conservation of key ecological features
    and biodiversity from a single or several
    threats (regardless of primary objective of
    OECM)
    Rockall Haddock Box High Seas Trawl
    Closure (North East Atlantic
    Fisheries Commission)
    Act as long-term monitoring sites for climate
    impacts with single or multiple additional
    uses and/or stressors superimposed
    Creating networks for meta-populations and
    fixed migration corridors
    Dynamic toolsDynamic ocean management areas*Respond to rapid shifts in species distribution
    and threats
    Dynamic fisheries closures to protect
    North Atlantic right whales
    (Canada)
    Provide short-term/seasonal corridors or
    stepping stones
    Provide quicker deployment (and removal) than
    MPAs
    Not fully multisectoral; often single-sectoral
    Unlikely to be considered OECMs under the
    present definition, unless they remain in
    place for an extended period (see Table 3)
    Climate-responsive biodiversity closures
    (CRBCs)
    A hybrid of MPAs (multisectoral) with
    shorter-term closures (ability to relocate and
    react to climate-driven changes)
    Currently conceptual—see main text
    Respond to climate-driven biological responses
    by moving boundaries to track shifting
    habitats or ecosystems
    Focus on shifts due to climate signal rather than
    other fluctuations
    Unlikely to be considered OECMs under the
    present definition, unless they remain in
    place for an extended period (see Table 3)

    *Also known as dynamic conservation features and/or short-term closures.

    • Table 3 Assessment of whether dynamic management tools meet the CBD criteria (13) for being OECMs.

      CBD criterionDo dynamic management tools as envisaged
      meet criterion?
      A: Area is not currently recognized as a PA
      Not currently recognized as a PAYes
      B: Area is governed and managed
      Geographically defined spaceYes in size and area described
      No for geographically delineated boundaries
      Legitimate governance authoritiesYes
      ManagedYes
      C: Achieves sustained and effective contribution to in situ conservation of biodiversity
      EffectiveYes (assuming biodiversity and conservation
      benefits, regardless of objectives)
      Sustained over the long termDepends on definition of “long term.” Some features
      may shift year to year but be in place for many
      years. Ultimately, it may be the intent; is the
      proposed length of management expected to be
      long-term, regardless of shorter-term dynamics?
      In situ conservation of biological diversityYes
      Information and monitoringYes
      D: Associated ecosystem functions and services and cultural, spiritual, socioeconomic, and other locally relevant values
      Ecosystem functions and servicesYes
      Cultural, spiritual, socioeconomic, and other
      locally relevant values
      Yes (assuming explicitly accounted for)

    Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/5/11/eaay9969/DC1

      Section S1. Methods for review of climate change adaptation in MPAs

      Section S2. Methods for derivation assessing MPA vulnerability (see Fig. 2)

      Table S1. References for the marine specific papers that incorporated climate change adaptation in MPA design or management presented in Fig. 1.

      Table S2. Google scholar search term results for April 2019.

      Table S3. Examples where climate change adaptation has been implemented in the design or management of an MPA.

      References (80168)

    • Supplementary Materials

      This PDF file includes:

      • Section S1. Methods for review of climate change adaptation in MPAs
      • Section S2. Methods for derivation assessing MPA vulnerability (see Fig. 2)
      • Table S1. References for the marine specific papers that incorporated climate change adaptation in MPA design or management presented in Fig. 1.
      • Table S2. Google scholar search term results for April 2019.
      • Table S3. Examples where climate change adaptation has been implemented in the design or management of an MPA.
      • References (80168)

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