, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 181-195
Date: 28 Nov 2004

The potential impacts of global climate change on marine protected areas

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Abstract

The potential effects of global climate changeon marine protected areas do not appear to havebeen addressed in the literature. This paperexamines the literature on protected areas,conservation biology, marine ecology,oceanography, and climate change, and reviewssome of the relevant differences between marineand terrestrial environments. Frameworks andclassifications systems used in protected areadesign are discussed. Finally, a frameworkthat summarizes some of the importantoceanographic processes and their links to thefood chain are reviewed. Species abundance anddistribution are expected to change as a resultof global climate change, potentiallycompromising the efficacy of marine protectedareas as biodiversity conservation tools. Thisreview suggests the need for: furtherinterdisciplinary research and the use oflinked models; an increase in marine protectedareas for biodiversity conservation and asresearch sites for teasing apart fishingeffects from climate effects; a temporallyresponsive approach to siting new marineprotected areas, shifting their locations ifnecessary; and large-scale ecosystem/integratedmanagement approaches to address the competinguses of the oceans and boundary-less threatssuch as global climate change and pollution.