Marine conservation: towards a multi-layered network approach: towards a multi-layered network approach

Ute Jacob, Andrew Beckerman, Mira Antonijevic, Laura E. Dee, Anna Eklöf, Hugh P. Possingham, Ross Thompson, Thomas J. Webb, Benjamin S. Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Valuing, managing and conserving marine biodiversity and a full range of ecosystem services is at the forefront of research and policy agendas. However, biodiversity is being lost at up to a thousand times the average background rate. Traditional disciplinary and siloed conservation approaches are not able to tackle this massive loss of biodiversity because they generally ignore or overlook the interactive and dynamic nature of ecosystems processes, limiting their predictability. To conserve marine biodiversity, we must assess the interactions and impacts among biodiversity and ecosystem services (BD-ES). The scaling up in complexity from single species to entire communities is necessary, albeit challenging, for a deeper understanding of how ecosystem services relate to biodiversity and the roles species have in ecosystem service provision. These interactions are challenging to map, let alone fully assess, but network and system-based approaches provide a powerful way to progress beyond those limitations. Here, we introduce a conceptual multi-layered network approach to understanding how ecosystem services supported by biodiversity drive the total service provision, how different stressors impact BD-ES and where conservation efforts should be placed to optimize the delivery of ecosystem services and protection of biodiversity. This article is part of the theme issue 'Integrative research perspectives on marine conservation'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20190459
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhilosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
Issue number1817
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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