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Title: Effective design of marine reserves : incorporating alongshore currents, size structure, and uncertainty
Author: Reimer, Jody
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Marine populations worldwide are in decline due to anthropogenic effects. Spatial management via marine reserves may be an effective conservation method for many species, but the requisite theory is still underdeveloped. Integrodifference equation (IDE) models can be used to determine the critical domain size required for persistence and provide a modelling framework suitable for many marine populations. Here, we develop a novel spatially implicit approximation for the proportion of individuals lost outside the reserve areas which consistently outperforms the most common approximation. We examine how results using this approximation compare to the existing IDE results on the critical domain size for populations in a single reserve, in a network of reserves, in the presence of alongshore currents, and in structured populations. We find that the approximation consistently provides results which are in close agreement with those of an IDE model with the advantage of being simpler to convey to a biological audience while providing insights into the significance of certain model components. We also design a stochastic individual based model (IBM) to explore the probability of extinction for a population within a reserve area. We use our spatially implicit approximation to estimate the proportion of individuals which disperse outside the reserve area. We then use this approximation to obtain results on extinction using two different approaches, which we can compare to the baseline IBM; the first approach is based on the Central Limit Theorem and provides efficient simulation results, and the second modifies a simple Galton-Watson branching process to include loss outside the reserve area. We find that this spatially implicit approximation is also effective in obtaining results similar to those produced by the IBM in the presence of both demographic and environmental variability. Overall, this provides a set of complimentary methods for predicting the reserve area required to sustain a population in the presence of strong fishing pressure in the surrounding waters.
Supervisor: Maini, Philip K.; Bonsall, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biology and other natural sciences (mathematics) ; Mathematics ; Mathematical biology ; Probability theory and stochastic processes ; marine reserves ; spatial management ; marine conservation ; integrodifference equations ; branching processes ; approximation