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Coauthor Halley Froehlich, a postdoctoral researcher at NCEAS, notes that aquaculture also could help make up for the limitations of wild-caught fisheries.
A collaborative effort between Conservation International and NCEAS, the Ocean Health Index is like the Fitbit for oceans.
Dr Carrie Kappel, the project's principal investigator, also from the NCEAS, said: "Unfortunately, as polar ice sheets disappear with warming global climate and human activities spread into these areas, there is a great risk of rapid degradation of these relatively pristine ecosystems."
A key step of the NCEAS simulations is a computation on a large graph (or network) that represents the connectivity of the landscape.
* NCEAS, Santa Barbara, Calif., 805-893-8000, www.nceas.ucsb.edu
However, the NCEAS analyses, which are all due to be published this fall as a special issue of ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS, uncovered another surprise: Many species tend to be home bodies.
Though initial data on planktonic periods suggested that most reserves might need to be hundreds or thousands of kilometers in diameter, the NCEAS analyses may now explain why even many tiny no-take zones seem to build large fish stocks: Their plankton don't wander far.
The study highlights the centrepiece of their research collaboration with NCEAS - the formation of a global database called the Jellyfish Database Initiative (JEDI) - a community-based database project that is being used in the global analysis and to test the worthiness of the current paradigm.
Halpern, the study's first author, who is based at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UCSB.
The NCEA programme gives sixth formers the chance to learn from highly-qualified coaches, including ex-Falcon Andy Buist.
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