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|Title: ||Ecosystem response to different management options in Marine Protected Areas (MPA): A case study of intertidal rocky shore communities.|
|Authors: ||Ferreira, A.|
|Keywords: ||Biophysical interest zone of avencas|
|Issue Date: ||2017|
|Citation: ||Ferreira, A., Alves, A.S., Marques, J.C., Seixas, S. 2017. Ecosystem response to different management options in Marine Protected Areas (MPA): A case study of intertidal rocky shore communities. Ecological Indicators, 81, 471-480|
|Abstract: ||Marine Protected Areas (MPA) can be powerful coastal management tools with several speciﬁc goals, although
there is debate concerning their eﬀectiveness. There is no consensus regarding the ideal size of MPAs, and
actually there is some evidence that perhaps size is not as critical as other speciﬁc factors in determining their
success in terms of populations’ protection and ecological functions conservation. On the other hand, depending
on the objectives, zones with diﬀerent classiﬁcation regimes in terms of rules and uses might enable the
maintenance of the intended uses.
At this light, we examined the case of the small (605 002 m
) rocky shore area of Avencas, near Lisbon, on the
Atlantic western Coast of Portugal, which was classiﬁed as Biophysical Interest Zone (ZIBA) in 1998, due to its
exceptional intertidal biodiversity, after what its protection status became controversial, leading to conﬂicts with
the local population and incompliance with extant regulations. From 2010 eﬀorts were carried out by local
authorities to reclassify Avencas as Marine Protected Area, which was achieved in 2016.
Monitoring intertidal communities in a MPA and adjacent areas is an eﬀective and low-cost procedure to
evaluate the evolution of the biodiversity of rocky shores. Therefore, antedating the creation of the new MPA,
assessments of the ZIBA biodiversity were conducted from January 2013 to December 2015 on a monthly basis.
This timeline was selected as a function of a change in visitors’ behavior induced from 2013 by several man-
agement and outreach initiatives, which increased in a certain extent the user’s compliance with regulations.
A positive evolution was expected for density and/or species diversity of the diﬀerent groups analysed (ﬂora,
sessile fauna and mobile fauna) in this three years period. However, a very strong storm occurred in 2014
produced a signiﬁcant impact and changed large areas of the Avencas rocky shore. As a consequence, results did
not display a recognizable recovery pattern of the intertidal communities, and following that extreme event are
not even consistent with a hypothesized enhanced recovery capability of the ecosystem in a protected area. This
suggests that longer data series are necessary to obtain more robust data regarding natural variability, since
alterations caused by extreme events are always likely to occur. Additionally, results illustrate that indeed size
matters because it inﬂuences the MPA openness, expressed as the ratio of periphery to area, and therefore its
susceptibility to external driving forces. Such considerations must be taken into account in any management
plan, which in this case should encompass an increase in the intertidal protected area, a new conditioned small-
scale ﬁshing regime, and an adequate monitoring programme to evaluate the eﬀectiveness of the new man-
|Appears in Collections:||MARE-UE - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica|
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