Structured Decision-Making Identifies Effective Strategies and Potential Barriers for Ecosystem-Based Management of a Range-Extending Species in a Global Marine Hotspot

Type Article
Date 2019-11
Language English
Author(s) Robinson Lucy M.1, 2, 3, 8, Marzloff MartinORCID1, 7, Van Putten Ingrid4, 5, Pecl Gretta1, 5, Jennings Sarah5, 9, Nicol Sam6, Hobday Alistair J.4, 5, Tracey Sean1, 5, Hartmann Klaas1, Haward Marcus5, Frusher Stewart5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Inst Marine & Antarctic Studies, Hobart, Tas 7001, Australia.
2 : Univ Western Australia, Oceans Inst, Perth, WA 6009, Australia.
3 : Univ Western Australia, Oceans Grad Sch, Perth, WA 6009, Australia.
4 : CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, Hobart, Tas 7000, Australia.
5 : Univ Tasmania, Ctr Marine Socioecol, Hobart, Tas 7000, Australia.
6 : CSIRO Land & Water, Dutton Pk, Qld 4102, Australia.
7 : IFREMER, DYNECO Benth Ecol Lab LEBCO, Ctr Bretagne, CS 10070, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
8 : CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.
9 : Univ Tasmania, Tasmanian Sch Business & Econ, Hobart, Tas 7000, Australia.
Source Ecosystems (1432-9840) (Springer), 2019-11 , Vol. 22 , N. 7 , P. 1573-1591
DOI 10.1007/s10021-019-00358-w
WOS© Times Cited 3
Note The authors are retracting this article because of confidentiality reasons. The article has been removed to protect the privacy of an individual. All authors agree to this retraction. Cf related article for the new version (
Keyword(s) structured decision-making, decision analysis, multi-method elicitation, stakeholder engagement, ecosystem-based management, species range extension, keystone herbivore, global marine hotspot

Climate-driven changes in ocean currents have facilitated the range extension of the long-spined sea urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii) from Australia's mainland to eastern Tasmania over recent decades. Since its arrival, destructive grazing by the urchin has led to widespread formation of sea urchin 'barrens'. The loss of habitat, biodiversity and productivity for important commercial reef species in conjunction with the development of an urchin fishery has led to conflicting objectives among stakeholders, which poses complex challenges for regional management. Stakeholder representatives and managers were engaged via a participatory workshop and subsequent one-on-one surveys to trial a structured decision-making process to identify effective ecosystem-based management strategies. We directly and indirectly elicited each stakeholder's preferences for nine alternative management strategies by presenting them with the 10-year consequences of each strategy estimated from an ecosystem model of Tasmanian reef communities. These preferences were included in cost-effectiveness scores that were averaged (across stakeholders) to enable strategy ranking from most to least cost-effective. Rankings revealed strategies that included sea urchin removal or translocation of predatory lobsters were the most cost-effective. However, assessment of stakeholders' individual cost-effectiveness scores showed some disparity among stakeholders' preferences in high ranking strategies. Additionally, evaluating inconsistencies within some stakeholders' scores that included direct or indirect preferences revealed conflicting objectives and cognitive bias as the most plausible explanations for these inconsistencies. Our study illustrates how structured decision-making can effectively facilitate ecosystem-based management by engaging stakeholders step-by-step towards management strategy implementation, identifying psychological barriers to decision-making and promoting collective learning.

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Robinson Lucy M., Marzloff Martin, Van Putten Ingrid, Pecl Gretta, Jennings Sarah, Nicol Sam, Hobday Alistair J., Tracey Sean, Hartmann Klaas, Haward Marcus, Frusher Stewart (2019). Structured Decision-Making Identifies Effective Strategies and Potential Barriers for Ecosystem-Based Management of a Range-Extending Species in a Global Marine Hotspot. Ecosystems, 22(7), 1573-1591. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :