The Values and Virtues of Protected Reef Fish Communities
Bates, A.E., Barrett, N.S., Stuart-Smith, R.D., Holbrook, N.J., Thompson, P.A. and Edgar, G.J. 2014. Resilience and signatures of tropicalization in protected reef fish communities. Nature Climate Change 4: 62-67.
The six scientists found their comparison revealed that "reserve sites were distinguished from fished sites by displaying: greater stability in some aspects of biodiversity; recovery of large-bodied temperate species; resistance to colonization by subtropical vagrants; and less pronounced increases in the community-averaged temperature affinity." Thus, Bates et al. were able, as they put it, to "empirically demonstrate that protection from fishing has buffered fluctuations in biodiversity and provided resistance to the initial stages of tropicalization," thereby demonstrating the significant virtues of protected fish communities and highlighting their inestimable ecological value.
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Thomas, C.D., Gillingham, P.K., Bradbury, R.B., Roy, D.B., Anderson, B.J., Baxter, J.M., Bourn, N.A.D., Crick, H.Q.P., Findon, R.A., Fox, R., Hodgson, J.A., Holt, A.R., Morecroft, M.D., O'Hanlon, N.J., Oliver, T.H., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Procter, D.A., Thomas, J.A., Walker, K.J., Walmsley, C.A., Wilson, R.J. and Hill, J.K. 2012. Protected areas facilitate species' range expansions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109: 14,063-14,068.