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Essential ecological insights for marine ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning


  • Crowder, Larry
  • Norse, Elliott


The abrupt decline in the sea's capacity to provide crucial ecosystem services requires a new ecosystem-based approach for maintaining and recovering biodiversity and integrity. Ecosystems are places, so marine spatial planners and managers must understand the heterogeneity of biological communities and their key components (especially apex predators and structure-forming species), and of key processes (e.g., population connectivity, interaction webs, biogeochemistry) that maintain them, as well as heterogeneity of human uses. Maintaining resistance and resilience to stressors is crucial. Because marine populations and ecosystems exhibit complex system behaviors, managers cannot safely assume they will recover when stressors are reduced, so prevention is a far more robust management strategy than seeking a cure for degraded systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Crowder, Larry & Norse, Elliott, 2008. "Essential ecological insights for marine ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 772-778, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:32:y:2008:i:5:p:772-778

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    Cited by:

    1. Lu, Shiau-Yun & Shen, Cheng-Han & Chiau, Wen-Yan, 2014. "Zoning strategies for marine protected areas in Taiwan: Case study of Gueishan Island in Yilan County, Taiwan," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 21-29.
    2. Brennan, Jonathon & Fitzsimmons, Clare & Gray, Tim & Raggatt, Laura, 2014. "EU marine strategy framework directive (MSFD) and marine spatial planning (MSP): Which is the more dominant and practicable contributor to maritime policy in the UK?," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 359-366.
    3. repec:eee:rensus:v:82:y:2018:i:p3:p:2332-2345 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Cabral, Reniel B. & Mamauag, Samuel S. & Aliño, Porfirio M., 2015. "Designing a marine protected areas network in a data-limited situation," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 64-76.
    5. repec:eee:rensus:v:74:y:2017:i:c:p:178-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Shucksmith, Rachel J. & Kelly, Christina, 2014. "Data collection and mapping – Principles, processes and application in marine spatial planning," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(PA), pages 27-33.
    7. Merrie, Andrew & Olsson, Per, 2014. "An innovation and agency perspective on the emergence and spread of Marine Spatial Planning," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 366-374.
    8. Frazão Santos, Catarina & Domingos, Tiago & Ferreira, Maria Adelaide & Orbach, Michael & Andrade, Francisco, 2014. "How sustainable is sustainable marine spatial planning? Part I—Linking the concepts," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 59-65.
    9. Blau, Jason & Green, Lee, 2015. "Assessing the impact of a new approach to ocean management: Evidence to date from five ocean plans," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-8.
    10. Maxwell, Sara M. & Hazen, Elliott L. & Lewison, Rebecca L. & Dunn, Daniel C. & Bailey, Helen & Bograd, Steven J. & Briscoe, Dana K. & Fossette, Sabrina & Hobday, Alistair J. & Bennett, Meredith & Bens, 2015. "Dynamic ocean management: Defining and conceptualizing real-time management of the ocean," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 42-50.
    11. Lu, Wen-Hai & Liu, Jie & Xiang, Xian-Quan & Song, Wei-Ling & McIlgorm, Alistair, 2015. "A comparison of marine spatial planning approaches in China: Marine functional zoning and the marine ecological red line," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 94-101.
    12. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2017:i:1:p:70-:d:124752 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Caldow, Chris & Monaco, Mark E. & Pittman, Simon J. & Kendall, Matthew S. & Goedeke, Theresa L. & Menza, Charles & Kinlan, Brian P. & Costa, Bryan M., 2015. "Biogeographic assessments: A framework for information synthesis in marine spatial planning," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 423-432.


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