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TitleFrom single-species to biodiversity conservation? Habitat mapping and biodiversity analysis of the Eastport Marine Protected Area, Canada
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorNovaczek, E; Proudfoot, B; Howse, V; Pretty, C; Devillers, R; Edinger, E; Copeland, A
SourceProgram and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada; by Todd, B JORCID logo; Brown, C J; Lacharité, M; Gazzola, V; McCormack, E; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8295, 2017 p. 91, Open Access logo Open Access
LinksGeoHab 2017
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Meeting2017 GeoHab: Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping; Dartmouth, NS; CA; May 1-4, 2017
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Program and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
File formatpdf
ProvinceEastern offshore region; Newfoundland and Labrador
AreaDuck Islands; Round Island; Newman Sound
Lat/Long WENS -53.6500 -52.8500 48.7500 48.5667
Subjectsmarine geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; environmental geology; geophysics; mapping techniques; oceanography; marine environments; coastal studies; conservation; marine organisms; marine ecology; resource management; biological communities; environmental studies; ecosystems; benthos; geophysical surveys; acoustic surveys, marine; sonar surveys; side-scan sonar; photography; marine sediments; sands; boulders; bedrock geology; Eastport Marine Protected Area; United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity; Lobsters; Homarus americanus; Algae; Biology; Fisheries; Fisheries management; Fisheries resources
ProgramOffshore Geoscience
Released2017 09 26
AbstractAs a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada has committed to protect at least 10% of its coastal and marine waters by 2020 through ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas. As more nations implement additional marine conservation measures to meet international targets, understanding how existing protected areas contribute to broader conservation goals is important. Our study describes the benthic habitat mapping of a small Canadian MPA and reports on its contribution to conservation of regional benthic marine biodiversity. We also suggest methods for incorporating benthic habitat connectivity analysis into adaptive management processes.
The Eastport MPA (Newfoundland, Canada) is a 2.1 square kilometre no-take reserve designated in 2005, based on a voluntary fishery closure implemented in 1997. The primary goal of the Eastport MPA is to protect and sustain the American lobster (Homarus americanus) population, which supports an important local fishery. The MPA's stated management goals also include protection of benthic biodiversity and protection of rare and endangered species. Benthic habitats within and adjacent to the MPA were characterized and mapped using multibeam echosounder data and seafloor videos. Three statistically distinct benthic habitats were identified within the boundaries of the MPA: 'shallow rocky', 'sand and cobble', and 'sand'. The distribution of species was primarily driven by depth and substrate type. The shallow rocky habitat (48% of the study area) contains complex bedrock and boulder features with high macroalgal cover, which are associated with juvenile and adult American lobster habitat. However, a previous study covering a broader area identified 10 distinct habitats in Newman Sound, the area surrounding the MPA. Species composition was also significantly different inside and outside the MPA, with much lower species richness within the protected boundaries. These results indicate that this small MPA contributes little to the conservation of the regional marine biodiversity, vulnerable habitats, or species at risk.
The high resolution marine habitat maps produced provide the opportunity to apply landscape ecology concepts, such as habitat connectivity metrics, to support marine conservation and adaptive management initiatives. In Eastport, benthic habitat connectivity is currently being assessed to identify areas that could be selected for a possible MPA expansion. Preliminary results derived from applying Patch Cohesion and Connectance Indices suggest that while habitats within the MPA are highly contiguous, connectivity between corresponding habitat patches is low. Further analysis of benthic habitats outside the MPA may help to identify possible solutions that maintain continuity and enhance connectivity with new or expanded protected areas. The results of this study will support adaptive management, something rarely done for Canadian MPAs, and will contribute to the development of methods for the identification of effective and well-connected MPA networks.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The sixteenth annual GeoHab Conference was held this year (2017) at the Waterfront Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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