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Building regional threat-based networks for estuaries in the Western United States.

Merrifield MS, Hines E, Liu X, Beck MW - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: To do this we classify estuaries into hierarchical networks that share similar threat characteristics using a spatial database (geodatabase) of threats to estuaries from land and sea in the western U.S. Our results show that very few estuaries in this region (16%) have no or minimal stresses from anthropogenic activity.The small number of un-threatened estuaries is likely not representative of the ecological variability in the region and will require working to abate threats at others.We think the identification of these estuary groups can foster sharing best practices and coordination of conservation activities amongst estuaries in any geography.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Science and Planning, The Nature Conservancy, San Francisco, California, United States of America. mmerrifield@tnc.org

ABSTRACT
Estuaries are ecologically and economically valuable and have been highly degraded from both land and sea. Estuarine habitats in the coastal zone are under pressure from a range of human activities. In the United States and elsewhere, very few conservation plans focused on estuaries are regional in scope; fewer still address threats to estuary long term viability.We have compiled basic information about the spatial extent of threats to identify commonalities. To do this we classify estuaries into hierarchical networks that share similar threat characteristics using a spatial database (geodatabase) of threats to estuaries from land and sea in the western U.S. Our results show that very few estuaries in this region (16%) have no or minimal stresses from anthropogenic activity. Additionally, one quarter (25%) of all estuaries in this study have moderate levels of all threats. The small number of un-threatened estuaries is likely not representative of the ecological variability in the region and will require working to abate threats at others. We think the identification of these estuary groups can foster sharing best practices and coordination of conservation activities amongst estuaries in any geography.

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Conceptual diagram showing estuary stresses mapped from land and sea sources combined using cluster analysis to create regional networks.These networks can ideally inform local conservation actions.
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pone-0017407-g001: Conceptual diagram showing estuary stresses mapped from land and sea sources combined using cluster analysis to create regional networks.These networks can ideally inform local conservation actions.

Mentions: To address the lack of regional threat information at estuaries, we identify multiple stresses to estuaries in the western United States, map the sources of these stresses (threats) from both land and sea for each estuary, and combine these estuaries into explicit groups to identify commonalities. The identification of these estuary groups is the first step towards building social networks that link geographically disparate estuaries based on common themes of threats.We anticipate that informing local groups about how what issues cross numerous estuaries can lay the groundwork to abate threats more efficiently through learning of shared experiences and common approaches (Figure 1).


Building regional threat-based networks for estuaries in the Western United States.

Merrifield MS, Hines E, Liu X, Beck MW - PLoS ONE (2011)

Conceptual diagram showing estuary stresses mapped from land and sea sources combined using cluster analysis to create regional networks.These networks can ideally inform local conservation actions.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3046153&req=5

pone-0017407-g001: Conceptual diagram showing estuary stresses mapped from land and sea sources combined using cluster analysis to create regional networks.These networks can ideally inform local conservation actions.
Mentions: To address the lack of regional threat information at estuaries, we identify multiple stresses to estuaries in the western United States, map the sources of these stresses (threats) from both land and sea for each estuary, and combine these estuaries into explicit groups to identify commonalities. The identification of these estuary groups is the first step towards building social networks that link geographically disparate estuaries based on common themes of threats.We anticipate that informing local groups about how what issues cross numerous estuaries can lay the groundwork to abate threats more efficiently through learning of shared experiences and common approaches (Figure 1).

Bottom Line: To do this we classify estuaries into hierarchical networks that share similar threat characteristics using a spatial database (geodatabase) of threats to estuaries from land and sea in the western U.S. Our results show that very few estuaries in this region (16%) have no or minimal stresses from anthropogenic activity.The small number of un-threatened estuaries is likely not representative of the ecological variability in the region and will require working to abate threats at others.We think the identification of these estuary groups can foster sharing best practices and coordination of conservation activities amongst estuaries in any geography.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Science and Planning, The Nature Conservancy, San Francisco, California, United States of America. mmerrifield@tnc.org

ABSTRACT
Estuaries are ecologically and economically valuable and have been highly degraded from both land and sea. Estuarine habitats in the coastal zone are under pressure from a range of human activities. In the United States and elsewhere, very few conservation plans focused on estuaries are regional in scope; fewer still address threats to estuary long term viability.We have compiled basic information about the spatial extent of threats to identify commonalities. To do this we classify estuaries into hierarchical networks that share similar threat characteristics using a spatial database (geodatabase) of threats to estuaries from land and sea in the western U.S. Our results show that very few estuaries in this region (16%) have no or minimal stresses from anthropogenic activity. Additionally, one quarter (25%) of all estuaries in this study have moderate levels of all threats. The small number of un-threatened estuaries is likely not representative of the ecological variability in the region and will require working to abate threats at others. We think the identification of these estuary groups can foster sharing best practices and coordination of conservation activities amongst estuaries in any geography.

Show MeSH