• Academic publication

Disturbance–recovery dynamics inform seafloor management for recovery

Hewitt J, Gladstone‐Gallagher R & Thrush S (September 2022)

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Over most of the world’s estuaries, coasts, and continental shelves, key indicators of seafloor biodiversity, anthropogenic stress, and ecological sustainability emphasize the need to shift habitat management and conservation from prevention of further degradation to actions focused on ecological recovery. Here we discuss how past the results of past studies on disturbance and recovery can be used to create and prioritize effective management interventions.

Understanding how recovery occurs enables assessment of possible recovery outcomes and where these may be achieved. The construction of ecosystem networks, the in-place biodiversity seascapes, species-specific biological traits, and location-specific ecological health provide managers with information from which likely temporal and spatial scales of recovery can be determined. On the basis of ecological theory and field observations, we emphasize the potential for key species to drive the recovery or maintenance of biodiversity in marine soft-sediment ecosystems.