• Open Access

A reserve paradox: introduced heterogeneity may increase regional invasibility


Julie B. Kellner, Department of Environmental Science and Policy. University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Tel: 530-752-8116; fax: +530-752-3350. E-mail: jbkellner@ucdavis.edu.


No-take marine protected areas (MPAs) typically lead to population abundances that are much more spatially heterogeneous compared to conventional fisheries management. Higher abundances inside marine reserves may sustain regional populations through spillover of larvae, but this induced spatial heterogeneity can also have undesirable consequences. Displacing fishing effort into a smaller area may offset larval export from MPAs and locally reduce populations within fished areas by intensifying effort per area. Using a novel community perspective, we show that this displacement can increase the local and regional community's susceptibility to invasion by nonindigenous species. This study illustrates the types of multispecies trade-offs that are inherent to spatially explicit forms of management and highlights the pressing need to transition from single-species analyses to examining community responses to management schemes across broader biological and spatial scales. Our results demonstrate the potentially negative regional consequences of anthropogenically-driven spatial heterogeneities in aquatic and terrestrial systems.