A global assessment of the direct and indirect benefits of marine protected areas for coral reef conservation
This study contributes to the evidence of the benefits of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for enhancing coral cover. A global dataset with information of 30 MPAs, obtained with standardized survey methods, was used was to test the effects of five key MPA attributes on coral cover, algal cover and reef fish biomass. The results show that only well-managed, no-take MPAs that were at least ten years old had higher coral cover compared to unprotected areas. It is concluded that MPAs contribute to the persistence of some functional groups of corals, and thus represent an important global management tool for coral reef conservation.