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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(12), 16571-16587; doi:10.3390/rs71215849

Designing Climate-Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks by Combining Remotely Sensed Coral Reef Habitat with Coastal Multi-Use Maps

1
ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
2
Marine Programs, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY 10460, USA
3
Global Conservation Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY 10460, USA
4
School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
5
Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK
6
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
7
Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
8
Kenya Wildlife Service, Coast Conservation Area, P.O. Box 40241, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
9
Erasmus Mundus Office, Aulario Norte, Puerto Real Campus, University of Cadiz, 11519 Puerto Real, Cadiz, Spain
10
UMR-9220 ENTROPIE, (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Université de la Réunion, CNRS), Laboratoire d’Excellence CORAIL, Noumea 98848, New Caledonia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Stuart Phinn, Chris Roelfsema, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 20 September 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 27 November 2015 / Published: 8 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Coral Reef Monitoring)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4737 KB, uploaded 8 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

Decision making for the conservation and management of coral reef biodiversity requires an understanding of spatial variability and distribution of reef habitat types. Despite the existence of very high-resolution remote sensing technology for nearly two decades, comprehensive assessment of coral reef habitats at national to regional spatial scales and at very high spatial resolution is still scarce. Here, we develop benthic habitat maps at a sub-national scale by analyzing large multispectral QuickBird imagery dataset covering ~686 km2 of the main shallow coral fringing reef along the southern border with Tanzania (4.68°S, 39.18°E) to the reef end at Malindi, Kenya (3.2°S, 40.1°E). Mapping was conducted with a user approach constrained by ground-truth data, with detailed transect lines from the shore to the fore reef. First, maps were used to evaluate the present management system’s effectiveness at representing habitat diversity. Then, we developed three spatial prioritization scenarios based on differing objectives: (i) minimize lost fishing opportunity; (ii) redistribute fisheries away from currently overfished reefs; and (iii) minimize resource use conflicts. We further constrained the priority area in each prioritization selection scenario based on optionally protecting the least or the most climate exposed locations using a model of exposure to climate stress. We discovered that spatial priorities were very different based on the different objectives and on whether the aim was to protect the least or most climate-exposed habitats. Our analyses provide a spatially explicit foundation for large-scale conservation and management strategies that can account for ecosystem service benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: Africa; climate adaptation strategies; coral and seagrass habitat; Indian Ocean; multi-stakeholder use; Marxan; scenario analysis Africa; climate adaptation strategies; coral and seagrass habitat; Indian Ocean; multi-stakeholder use; Marxan; scenario analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Maina, J.M.; Jones, K.R.; Hicks, C.C.; McClanahan, T.R.; Watson, J.E.M.; Tuda, A.O.; Andréfouët, S. Designing Climate-Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks by Combining Remotely Sensed Coral Reef Habitat with Coastal Multi-Use Maps. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 16571-16587.

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