Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management—2nd Edition

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 6604

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National Marine Park of Zakynthos, El. Venizelou 1, 29100 Zakynthos, Greece
Interests: marine protected areas; marine ecology; conservation; ecosystems management
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine ecosystems are impacted by a multitude of human stressors and climatic change effects acting in concert even in the most remote areas of the planet. Marine biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate, thus challenging ecosystem functions and services as well as human well-being. Therefore, effective management and conservation actions are imperative and well-recognized at the highest political level. This Special Issue aims to collect valuable manuscripts on marine biodiversity and ecosystem management that can advise managers, policy makers, and conservation practitioners. Manuscripts may include both large-scale and regional studies, while field experiments, theoretical and modeling studies, as well as successful management stories from all forms of marine ecosystems and taxa are welcome. Studies on threatened and protected species or habitats are of high concern, whereas contributions from the fields of biological invasions, marine protected areas, climate change, and risk and vulnerability assessments are more than welcome.

Dr. Charalampos Dimitriadis
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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23 pages, 2055 KiB  
Article
Amphipods in Mediterranean Marine and Anchialine Caves: New Data and Overview of Existing Knowledge
by Carlos Navarro-Barranco, Alejandro Martínez, Juan Sempere-Valverde, Sahar Chebaane, Markos Digenis, Wanda Plaitis, Eleni Voultsiadou and Vasilis Gerovasileiou
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121180 - 29 Nov 2023
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Abstract
Marine and anchialine caves host specialized faunal communities with a variable degree of endemism and functional specialization. However, biodiversity assessments on this habitat are scarce, particularly in relation to small-sized cryptic fauna (such as amphipods), which often play a key role in benthic [...] Read more.
Marine and anchialine caves host specialized faunal communities with a variable degree of endemism and functional specialization. However, biodiversity assessments on this habitat are scarce, particularly in relation to small-sized cryptic fauna (such as amphipods), which often play a key role in benthic ecosystems. The present article compiles all records of marine and brackish-water amphipods inhabiting marine and anchialine caves along the Mediterranean basin, combining information extracted from a literature review with newly acquired records. A total of 106 amphipod species has been reported (representing approximately 20% of the Mediterranean amphipod species), mostly from the North-Western Mediterranean. Examination of new material from marine caves in Greece has yielded 14 new records from the East Ionian and Aegean Sea. Most of the reported species display wide ecological amplitude in terms of habitat and substrate preferences, feeding habits as well as bathymetric and geographical distribution. In contrast, only 17 amphipod species have been reported from marine-brackish waters in anchialine caves, predominantly represented by cave specialists with a narrow spatial distribution and distinct morphological traits. Our overall knowledge on amphipods inhabiting Mediterranean caves is far from complete so that new and valuable findings are expected to occur as new caves are explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management—2nd Edition)
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21 pages, 6845 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Patterns in the Distribution of Albacore, Bigeye, Skipjack, and Yellowfin Tuna Species within the Exclusive Economic Zones of Tonga for the Years 2002 to 2018
by Siosaia Vaihola, Dawit Yemane and Stuart Kininmonth
Diversity 2023, 15(10), 1091; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15101091 - 18 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1134
Abstract
The Tongan fisheries targeting the species of albacore (Thunnus alalunga), bigeye (Thunnus obesus), skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis), and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), comprising the main tuna catch landed, within the EEZ of Tonga is critical to [...] Read more.
The Tongan fisheries targeting the species of albacore (Thunnus alalunga), bigeye (Thunnus obesus), skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis), and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), comprising the main tuna catch landed, within the EEZ of Tonga is critical to the economy of Tonga. Thus, it is crucial to study the spatiotemporal pattern of their catch and the influence of environmental and physical variables, in addition to the month and year of the catch. To this end, sets of eight generalized additive models were applied to model the distribution of these four species. Selection among competing models was carried out based on k-fold cross-validation, using RMSPE prediction error as a measure of model predictive performance. The following sets of predictors were considered; sea surface temperature, sea surface chlorophyll, bottom depth, month, and year. In addition, to assess the influence of fronts, gradients in SST and Chl-a were computed and used as predictors. Catch year was the most important variable for all, except Albacore tuna, for which month was the important variable. The third most important variable was SST for albacore and bigeye tuna, whereas bottom depth was the most important variable for skipjack and yellowfin tuna. A standardized index of CPUE indicates mostly inter-annual variation in CPUE for albacore and bigeye tuna, whereas a it indicates a general increase in CPUE for skipjack and yellowfin tuna. Hotspots of albacore tuna catches are around the northern and southern edges of the exclusive economic zone and typically during the months of June to August. The bigeye tuna hotspots were concentrated on the eastern side of the islands, in waters overlying trenches; this was most obvious during the months of January to June. Skipjack tuna hotspots were near the edges of the exclusive economic zone, although it is caught in smaller amounts to the three tuna species considered and higher catch rates were observed only after 2014. For yellowfin tuna, the highest catch rates were concentrated around the islands and descending towards the southern edge of the EEZ. As part of the initiative of this study to support national optimal resource management, this study generated standardized CPUE (indices of abundance), an important input in stock assessment, and also looked into the potential influence of environmental and physical variables on the CPUE of these valuable tuna stocks within the EEZ of Tonga. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management—2nd Edition)
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Review

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19 pages, 2927 KiB  
Review
Ecosystem Management Policy Implications Based on Tonga Main Tuna Species Catch Data 2002–2018
by Siosaia Vaihola and Stuart Kininmonth
Diversity 2023, 15(10), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15101042 - 27 Sep 2023
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Abstract
Despite the crucial role played by international and regional tuna fisheries in facilitating the successful implementation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, there exist disparities in viewpoints among these stakeholders, resulting in gaps between regional fisheries management and local communities. Nevertheless, the [...] Read more.
Despite the crucial role played by international and regional tuna fisheries in facilitating the successful implementation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, there exist disparities in viewpoints among these stakeholders, resulting in gaps between regional fisheries management and local communities. Nevertheless, the Tongan government, under the Ministry of Fisheries, is dedicated to the efficient management of its tuna resources, aiming to establish it as the preferred and optimal approach for ensuring the long-term sustainability of its tuna fisheries and the ecosystem services they provide to the community. Recognizing that an appropriate legal, policy and institutional framework is in place for sustainable management of tuna, the first part of this paper presents a review of current Tonga fisheries laws and policies for its tuna fisheries. This review reflects the implementation of an information-based management framework, namely the Tonga National Tuna Fishery Management and Development Plan. The tuna fisheries in Tonga mainly catch albacore (Thunnus alalunga), bigeye (Thunnus obesus), skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis), and yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) tuna. These tuna species are caught within Tonga’s exclusive economic zones and play a crucial role in the country’s economy; hence, it is crucial to examine the spatio-temporal distributions of their catch in relation to their environmental conditions. In pursuit of this goal, the tasks of mapping (i) the spatio-temporal distribution of catch landed at ports and (ii) the spatio-temporal of environmental conditions were performed. The study utilizes longline catch per unit effort data spanning from 2002 to 2018 for albacore, bigeye, skipjack, and yellowfin tuna. It also incorporates data on environmental conditions, including sea surface temperature, sea surface chlorophyll, sea surface current, and sea surface salinity. Additionally, the El Nino Southern Oscillation Index is mapped in relation to catch data to examine the potential effects of climate change on the tuna catch. Results show that bigeye, skipjack, and yellowfin CPUE show a central–northernmost distribution and are primarily caught between latitudes 14° S–22° S, while albacore, shows a central–southern distribution. The highest CPUE for all species are in latitudes 15.5° S–22.5° S and longitudes 172.5° W–176.5° W. The data indicate that sea surface current velocities range from −0.03 to 0.04 ms−1, sea surface salinity ranges from 34.8 to 35.6 PSU, sea surface chlorophyll concentration varies from 0.03 to 0.1 mg m−3, and sea surface temperature fluctuates seasonally, ranging from 18 °C to 30 °C. Mapping also reveals that times of reduced catches in Tonga coincide with periods of moderate to strong El Nino events from 2002 to 2018. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management—2nd Edition)
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Other

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10 pages, 259 KiB  
Technical Note
Advancing Sea Turtle Monitoring at Nesting and Near Shore Habitats with UAVs, Data Loggers, and State of the Art Technologies
by Maria Papazekou, Amalia Kyprioti, Anastasia Chatzimentor, Charalampos Dimitriadis, Nikolaos Vallianos and Antonios D. Mazaris
Diversity 2024, 16(3), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16030153 - 28 Feb 2024
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Abstract
In the face of environmental change, high-quality and fine-scale information is essential in order to monitor the highly dynamic environments on land and sea. While traditional approaches to data collection face a number of practical limitations, advanced technologies could supplement and further improve [...] Read more.
In the face of environmental change, high-quality and fine-scale information is essential in order to monitor the highly dynamic environments on land and sea. While traditional approaches to data collection face a number of practical limitations, advanced technologies could supplement and further improve our efforts. Taking sea turtles as a modeling organism, we present a novel methodological framework for monitoring species by means of advanced technologies, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles coupled with image and temperature sensors. Diverse monitoring protocols were refined through pilot studies conducted in both terrestrial and nearshore sea turtle habitats. Our approach focuses on the collection of information for critical biological parameters concerning species reproduction and habitat use, following the complex life cycle of the species. Apart from biological information, our framework encompasses also the collection of information on crucial environmental factors that might be changing due to current and future human-derived pressures, such as beach erosion and temperature profile, as well as highly important human activities such as recreational use within nesting beaches that could undermine habitat quality for the species. This holistic and standardized approach to monitoring using advanced technologies could foster our capacity for conservation, resolving difficulties previously addressed and improving the collection of biological and environmental data in the frame of an adaptive management scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management—2nd Edition)
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