Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Marine Protected Areas Do Not Protect Genetic Diversity

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There is an interesting article in Nature that was published yesterday on the effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPA's) in protecting the genetic diversity of ocean life in the tropics. As it turns out, the MPA's only protect a fraction of the genetic diversity. The news is particularly bad for corals. The article highlights what many have been saying for decades (thank you Jacques Cousteau for bringing this issue to the world's attention in the 20th century). Our oceans are in trouble and we are not doing enough to protect these important ecosystems. While we have made progress by developing marine protected areas, the management approach is not fully effective.

The article is particularly interesting in that it looks geographically at the entire range of genetic diversity in the tropical seas. Those who like charts and graphs will find the article particularly engaging.

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