The Spatio-Temporal Mosaic of Scientific Research: A Case Study from Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Nicole Alvarado1 Carrie Boyle1 Bonnie Brown1 Andrew Cline1 Corinne de Rond1 Stephen  Ferrin1 Cherisa Friedlander1 Cynthia Gonzalez1 Clifton Herrmann1 Gavin Leavitt1 Larissa Lemon1 Alyssa Nally1 Erika Senyk1 Amanda Wasserman1 James Lindholm12 & Andrew DeVogelaere3

Spatial management design is largely influenced by where and when research has been conducted throughout the designated area. Such information provides the scientific context that is critical for successful decision-making. We performed a meta-analysis on over 1,100 peer reviewed journal articles to discern the most commonly studied regions, habitats, and species within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), including selected studies conducted prior to sanctuary designation. We found that despite the substantial number of studies conducted within the boundaries of MBNMS, much of that research was isolated to particular locations and/or habitats. These results suggest that even for a well-studied area such as MBNMS, the spatio-temporal variation in scientific research needs to be considered when implementing decisions across large areas where information may be limited.

1 California State University, Monterey Bay
2 Institute for Applied Marine Ecology
3 Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary