1. Growing concern associated with threats to the marine environment has resulted in an increased demand for marine reserves that conserve representative and adequate examples of biodiversity. Often, the decisions about where to locate reserves must be made in the absence of detailed information on the patterns of distribution of the biota. Alternative approaches are required that include defining habitats using surrogates for biodiversity. Surrogate measures of biodiversity enable decisions about where to locate marine reserves to be made more reliably in the absence of detailed data on the distribution of species. 2. Intertidal habitat types derived using physical properties of the shoreline were used as a surrogate for intertidal biodiversity to assist with the identification of sites for inclusion in a candidate system of intertidal marine reserves for 17 463 km of the mainland coast of Queensland, Australia. This represents the first systematic approach, on essentially one‐dimensional data, using fine‐scale (tens to hundreds of metres) intertidal habitats to identify a system of marine reserves for such a large length of coast. A range of solutions would provide for the protection of a representative example of intertidal habitats in Queensland. 3. The design and planning of marine and terrestrial protected areas systems should not be undertaken independently of each other because it is likely to lead to inadequate representation of intertidal habitats in either system. The development of reserve systems specially designed to protect intertidal habitats should be integrated into the design of terrestrial and marine protected area systems. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems – Wiley
Published: May 1, 2005
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