Mapping cumulative human impacts to California Current marine ecosystems
Article first published online: 17 APR 2009
©2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 2, Issue 3, pages 138–148, June 2009
How to Cite
Halpern, B. S., Kappel, C. V., Selkoe, K. A., Micheli, F., Ebert, C. M., Kontgis, C., Crain, C. M., Martone, R. G., Shearer, C. and Teck, S. J. (2009), Mapping cumulative human impacts to California Current marine ecosystems. Conservation Letters, 2: 138–148. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2009.00058.x
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 17 APR 2009
- Received: 29 October 2008; accepted 1 April 2009
- Climate change;
- threat ranking;
- conservation priorities
Quantitative assessment of the spatial patterns of all human uses of the oceans and their cumulative effects is needed for implementing ecosystem-based management, marine protected areas, and ocean zoning. Here, we apply methods developed to map cumulative impacts globally to the California Current using more comprehensive and higher-quality data for 25 human activities and 19 marine ecosystems. This analysis indicates where protection and threat mitigation are most needed in the California Current and reveals that coastal ecosystems near high human population density and the continental shelves off Oregon and Washington are the most heavily impacted, climate change is the top threat, and impacts from multiple threats are ubiquitous. Remarkably, these results were highly spatially correlated with the global results for this region (R2= 0.92), suggesting that the global model provides guidance to areas without local data or resources to conduct similar regional-scale analyses.