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Quantifying the potential for marine reserves or harvest reductions to buffer temporal mismatches caused by climate change


Climate change has caused shifts in seasonal timing of climatic events such as the onset of spring upwelling, which can lead to temporal mismatches between fish spawning and production of zoopklankton prey. Fishing may exacerbate mismatches through age truncation, particularly when offspring survival is dependent on maternal age, but no-take reserves or harvest reductions might buffer this effect. To quantify the potential for management to buffer synergistic interactions between fishing and climate, we developed a dynamic population model of a harvested species where larval survival depended on spring transition timing and maternal age. We applied this model to rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) after verifying empirically that spring transition timing affects their recruitment success. We found that yield and persistence changed more with maternal-agedependent larval provisioning than maternal-age-dependent spawning timing across a range of spring transition timings, especially with environmental stochasticity. Either implementing reserves or reducing fishing can mitigate impacts on larval survival, but reserves convey the added benefit of decreased sensitivity of yield and persistence to fishing. However, reserve buffering effects decreased with the inclusion of environmental stochasticity.

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