DENVER A group of scientists is putting together a picture of what until now has been a black box the near-shore ocean environment. At the same time, they are developing a picture of where marine animals live in the different parts of their life cycle. The information is invaluable to marine reserve planners, the fishing industry and many others.
"New Tools for Designing Effective Marine Reserves," to be published in a future edition of the journal Frontiers in Ecology, outlines the state of the art of management of marine reserves. The findings will be presented at a press conference of the American Association of the Advancement of Science on Friday, February 15, at noon Mountain Time.
Previously, the open ocean has been studied the most, and yet the area where most fishing occurs and where humans interact with the ocean has been neglected, partly because it is so complicated, according to author Robert R. Warner, professor of ecology, evolution and marine biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
In short, the authors look at:
- Remote sensing which provides "real time" data about the ocean.
- The chemical signal of trace metals in growing skeletons which provides a tracking device for where larvae and juveniles drift in the sea.
- Genetic differences among populations that can reveal barriers to dispersal that are otherwise unseen, and are beginning to be used to measure the scale of dispersal inside and outside reserves.
- Layers of ecosystem information placed in a geographic context by GIS (global information systems) computer mapping, which provides an accessible summary of this complex information that can be used by computer search engines to list alternative management solutions.
The authors explain that one expanding technology is remote sensing via satellites that measure characteristics of the ocean including color, temperature, surface elevation and winds, helping to map Page: 1 2 3 Related biology news :1
Contact: Gail Gallessich
University of California - Santa Barbara
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