Spatial management, including setting aside conservation areas, is central to curbing the global decline of biodiversity, but many threats originate from beyond the boundaries of conservation areas. This is a particular problem in marine systems, which are influenced by many activities on land. In addition, connections between land and sea support many species and ecological processes valued for conservation. Integrated land and sea conservation planning is therefore of utmost importance. We review the literature describing connections between land and sea and how they have been incorporated into conservation planning. Land-sea connections include land-sea processes, the natural flows occurring between realms; cross-system threats, which originate in one realm and affect another; and socioeconomic interactions associated with management decisions to maintain or restore land-sea processes and to prevent or mitigate cross-system threats. We highlight the need to explicitly incorporate land-sea connections in conservation planning and suggest ways of doing this through the use of a novel operational framework for integrated land-sea planning. On the basis of expert surveys and a literature review, we also identify those aspects of conservation planning for which improved integration between land and sea is most needed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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