While this study has shown the rocky reef feature in the SAC is greater in scale than the actual visually observed reef, only
the rocky habitats benefit if management is feature based. Unfortunately, the full extent of a functional reef is often larger than its legal protection http://www.selleckchem.com/products/MLN8237.html (Rees et al., in press) and results here show that the full extent can only be visually recognised once recovery has started to take place. The presented results will hopefully inform discussions among managers and governmental authorities to include other substrata and associated species in order to appropriately maintain and restore the full extent of the functional reef (Rees et al., in press). Furthermore, based on our findings we recommend that reef features of conservation interest are protected at the scale of the MPA site (e.g. SAC boundary for EU Habitats Directive) at least until species have begun to recover and indicate where features extend to. Only then should detailed lines be drawn and buffer zones introduced (Halpern et al., 2010). No comparison is made here between the sessile RAS on sediment to sessile RAS on observable hard reef. However, even if they were considered substandard assemblages, this reef expansion, and increase in biogenic structure in these areas connecting rocky buy STA-9090 habitats would increase overall ecosystem health and
resilience of benthic systems to environmental change, such as ocean acidification, temperature rise, and invasive species (Carpenter et al., 2008, Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2007, Stachowicz et al., 2002 and Veron et al., 2009). The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD
Tacrolimus (FK506) COP 10 2011-2020) requests that by 2020 ecosystem based management approaches are applied in marine systems to avoid overfishing. This is in accordance with the site rather than feature based approach. A mosaic of habitat types is essential for the success of any marine ecosystem, as different life stages or foraging techniques often require different substratum types (Christensen et al., 2003). Functional boundaries should also consider not only extent of adult RAS but their entire benthic life history. Only considering adult stages limits our interpretation of functional habitat use by reef organisms. It has been documented that some reef organisms such as lobsters use neighbouring sediments for burying juvenile stages or foraging (Howard and Bennett, 1979), and this should be taken into account when proposing MPA boundaries. Differing life history traits demonstrate the importance of managers being able to employ adaptive management strategies that could result in the expansion of conservation features and recovery of benthic systems (Folke et al., 2004). This study highlights a fundamental management predicament known as shifting baselines.