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Do marine protected areas deliver flows of ecosystem services to support human welfare?

Potts, Tavis; Burdon, Daryl; Jackson, Emma; Atkins, Jonathan; Saunders, Justine; Hastings, Emily; Langmead, Olivia


Tavis Potts

Daryl Burdon

Emma Jackson

Justine Saunders

Emily Hastings

Olivia Langmead


This paper examines the potential relationships between the ecosystem services provided by the coastal and marine environment and the designation of marine protected areas. The hypothesis is that relationships exist between the provision of ecosystem services and the features protected by marine protected areas. It is considered that protection will maintain these features in good ecological condition and in some cases will restore ecological functioning with positive effects on the delivery of ecosystem services, as pressures upon the protected features are reduced. As the number of marine protected area designations grows, system-wide effects to communities from improvements in delivery of a range of ecosystem services may be realised. This paper provides a comparative analysis of the jurisdictional marine protected area policies proposed by the English, Welsh and Scottish Governments. It presents structured assessment matrices developed from the literature and expert opinion, of ecosystem service provision by marine protected habitats and species and applies the findings to a range of existing UK marine protected areas to demonstrate its relevance. The approach and case study findings are discussed within the wider context of marine ecosystem services and marine protected area management.


Potts, T., Burdon, D., Jackson, E., Atkins, J., Saunders, J., Hastings, E., & Langmead, O. (2014). Do marine protected areas deliver flows of ecosystem services to support human welfare?. Marine Policy, 44, 139-148.

Acceptance Date Aug 4, 2013
Online Publication Date Aug 22, 2013
Publication Date 2014-02
Deposit Date May 6, 2015
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Marine policy
Print ISSN 0308-597x
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 44
Pages 139-148
Keywords Marine protected areas; Coastal governance; Ecosystem services; Habitats and species; Protected features
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article which has been published in Marine policy, 2014, v.44 at:


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