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Type: Journal article
Title: Eight habitats, 38 threats and 55 experts: Assessing ecological risk in a multi-use marine region
Author: Doubleday, Z.
Jones, A.
Deveney, M.
Ward, T.
Gillanders, B.
Citation: PLoS One, 2017; 12(5):e0177393-1-e0177393-15
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 1932-6203
Editor: Chapman, M.G.G.
Statement of
Zoë A. Doubleday, Alice R. Jones, Marty R. Deveney, Tim M. Ward, Bronwyn M. Gillanders
Abstract: Identifying the relative risk human activities pose to a habitat, and the ecosystem services they provide, can guide management prioritisation and resource allocation. Using a combination of expert elicitation to assess the probable effect of a threat and existing data to assess the level of threat exposure, we conducted a risk assessment for 38 human-mediated threats to eight marine habitats (totalling 304 threat-habitat combinations) in Spencer Gulf, Australia. We developed a score-based survey to collate expert opinion and assess the relative effect of each threat to each habitat, as well as a novel and independent measure of knowledge-based uncertainty. Fifty-five experts representing multiple sectors and institutions participated in the study, with 6 to 15 survey responses per habitat (n = 81 surveys). We identified key threats specific to each habitat; overall, climate change threats received the highest risk rankings, with nutrient discharge identified as a key local-scale stressor. Invasive species and most fishing-related threats, which are commonly identified as major threats to the marine environment, were ranked as low-tier threats to Spencer Gulf, emphasising the importance of regionally-relevant assessments. Further, we identified critical knowledge gaps and quantified uncertainty scores for each risk. Our approach will facilitate prioritisation of resource allocation in a region of increasing social, economic and environmental importance, and can be applied to marine regions where empirical data are lacking.
Keywords: Animals
Description: Published: May 10, 2017
Rights: Copyright: © 2017 Doubleday et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177393
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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