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Articles Toward a Dynamic Metacommunity Approach to Marine Reserve Theory FR D RIC GUICHARD SIMON A LEVIN ALAN HASTINGS AND DAVID SIEGEL Coastal habitats have recently received much attention from policymakers but marine reserve theory still needs to integrate across scales from local dynamics of communities to biogeographic patterns of species distribution recognizing coastal ecosystems as complex adaptive systems in which local processes and anthropogenic disturbances can result in large scale biological changes We present a theoretical framework that provides a new perspective on the science underlying the design of marine reserve networks Coastal marine systems may be usefully considered as metacommunities in which propagules are exchanged among components and in which the persistence of one species depends on that of others Our results suggest that the large scale distribution of marine species can be dynamic and can result from local ecological processes We discuss the potential implications of these findings for marine reserve design and the need for long term monitoring programs to validate predictions from metacommunity models Only through an integrated and dynamic global perspective can scientists and managers achieve the underlying goals of marine conservation Keywords complex adaptive systems self organization marine conservation larval dispersal spatially explicit ecological models M arine fisheries are failing Pauly et al 1998 2002 and species from invertebrates to charismatic megafauna are threatened by fishing pressures and other environmental changes The remedies are not simple but clearly marine reserves have a fundamental role to play Lubchenco et al 2003 The design of reserve systems requires a sound theoretical foundation which has led to the beginning of a science of reserve design both in marine Gerber et al 2003 and terrestrial systems ReVelle et al 2002 The problem of designing successful reserves which would be difficult even if there were

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