Eco-evolutionary dynamics in marine food webs and their interactions with fishermen - implications for management and society (completed)

About the project

The fundamental complexity of ecosystems and understanding how eco-evolutionary dynamic play in changing social-ecological environment is challenging, but of prominent importance. Evolution may occur sufficiently rapid to interact with ecological processes. High harvesting pressure affects population dynamics and can cause evolution of life-history traits such as body size. At the same time, climate change can affect ecological processes as recruitment and individual growth. Overall, this may make the populations less resilient, and more susceptible to larger perturbations. Among the fishermen, there is a large range in gear,boat size and efficiency. This set up feedback loops between the fishermen and the food webs composition, and how the competition between fishing fleets emerge. We do this by developing an evolving network model describing a food web for the Barents Sea ecosystem, and the large- and small scale fishermen. We examine how robust this complex adaptative system is towards increasing stress factors and how management objectives affect species persistence and productivity. Finally, we will study how such a network is robust and resilient towards perturbations like an oil spill or invading species. 
This study shows light on the interactions between species, harvesting, fishermen, environmental variability, population robustness and stability. 
Our overall aim is to provide knowledge on how ecosystem maintenance and functioning can meet specific management objectives, while avoiding a loss of resilience of the system, which may largely go unnoticed.
This work is part of a larger project, ADMAR: Adaptative management of living marine resources by integrating different data sources and key ecological process (project nr. NFR 200497/I30).

Financing

This project funded by the Research Council of Norway

Collaborators

University of Princeton

Period

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2013

Published July 7, 2014 3:24 PM