|dc.description.abstract||Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been shown to provide benefits for biodiversity conservation within marine habitats, by reducing direct human impacts and restoring fish populations that provide critical ecosystem functions. Protected areas can be established and governed in different ways, primarily through bottom-up arrangements that involve local people and multiple stakeholders, or top-down decisions imposed by government agencies. Yet little is known about how these two governance strategies compare in terms of the protection and benefits they provide to MPAs globally. Using an extensive data set of MPA conditions, a set of Bayesian hierarchical models were developed to understand the role of top-down versus bottom up governance on the net reef fish biomass differences between MPA and adjacent non MPA areas from 218 global MPAs. The results suggest that collaborative governance, or co-management, provides larger positive effects on reef fish biomass differences between MPAs and adjacent open areas than top-down, or federal arrangements. Additionally, while total gross domestic product is positively related to net biomass, there is a negative relationship with the human development index. The results illustrate the importance of stakeholder participation for improving ecological outcomes, with the policy recommendation that existing MPAs transition to collaborative management where possible.
Key words: marine protected areas, management, top-down management, bottom-up management, co-management, reef fish biomass difference||en_US