Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been implemented as a spatial management tool throughout the world in order to meet targets for marine biodiversity conservation. The success of MPAs in achieving biodiversity conservation objectives is strongly dependent on effective management. However, evaluation frameworks for MPA management measures are often procedurally or governance focused with limited consideration of biological criteria.

This paper reviews guiding ecological principles of MPA network design and how they can be applied to the evaluation of MPA management measures for effective biodiversity conservation.

The study developed a Qualitative Statement Framework that makes recommendations for applying ecological principles to MPA management measures. The authors suggest that using the ecological principles for MPA design in management measure evaluation addresses a gap in current management evaluation tools.

The authors conclude that future MPA management evaluations should incorporate criteria to demonstrate how management measures meet each of the ecological principles.

Hopkins et al. (2020) Evaluating whether MPA management measures meet ecological principles for effective biodiversity protection. Acta Oecologica 108:103625.