We constructed an MPA-population model parameterized with data for lingcod to determine how the amount of information on space use affected predictions of the efficacy of MPAs. Specifically we compared the use of mean HR size (less information) to utilization distributions (UD, more information)—both derived from acoustic tracking. The key difference between the two is that an individual has an equal probability of being in any part of its mean HR, while in UD some areas are more heavily used than others.
Biomass was 10% higher and numbers 5% higher when we used the UD to describe space use by lingcod than when we used mean HR. Thus while there is a difference between the two measures of space use, the simpler measure was conservative and may be the better metric for the design of MPAs in an uncertain future.
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