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Currently indexing 10165 titles

Ecosystem management: adaptive, community-based conservation

Citation Information: Washington, D.C. : Island Press, 2002

ISBN: 1559638249

Editors: Gary K. Meffe; Larry A. Nielsen; Richard L. Knight; and Dennis A. Schenborn

Description: Today's natural resource managers must be able to navigate among the complicated interactions and conflicting interests of decision-makers and diverse stakeholders, ranging from regulators to representatives of interest groups to members of local communities. Technical and scientific knowledge, though necessary, are not sufficient; science is merely one component in a multifaceted world of decision-making. While the demands of resource management have changed greatly, natural resource education and textbooks have not. This work seeks to present a different kind of textbook for a different kind of course. It aims to engage students in active problem-solving using detailed landscape scenarios that reflect the complex issues and conflicting interests that face the modern resource manager and scientist. Focusing on the application of the sciences of ecology and conservation biology to real-world problems, it emphasizes the intricate ecological, socioeconomic and institutional matrix in which natural resource management functions, and illustrates how to be more effective in that challenging area. Accompanying the textbook is an instructor's manual that provides a detailed overview of the book and specific guidance on designing a course around it.

A global estimate of benefits from ecosystem-based marine recreation: potential impacts and implications for management

Citation Information: Journal of Bioeconomics; Volume 12, Number 3 (2010), 245-268

DOI: 10.1007/s10818-010-9092-7

Authors: Andrés M. Cisneros-Montemayor and U. Rashid Sumaila

Abstract: Participation in ecosystem-based marine recreational activities (MRAs) has increased around the world, adding a new dimension to human use of the marine ecosystem and another good reason to strengthen effective management measures. A first step in studying the effects of MRAs at a global scale is to estimate their socioeconomic benefits, which are captured here by three indicators: the amount of participation, employment and direct expenditure by users. A database of reported expenditure on MRAs was compiled for 144 coastal countries. A meta-analysis was then performed to calculate the yearly global benefits of MRAs in terms of expenditure, participation and employment. It is estimated that 121 million people a year participate in MRAs, generating 47 billion USD (2003) in expenditures and supporting one million jobs. The results of this study have several implications for resource managers and for the tourism industry. Aside from offering the first estimation of the global socioeconomic benefits of MRAs, this work provides insights on the drivers of participation and possible ecological impacts of these activities. Our results could also help direct efforts to promote adequate implementation of MRAs. Furthermore, we hope this work will provide a template for data collection on MRAs worldwide.

Critical thresholds and tangible targets for ecosystem-based management of coral reef fisheries

Citation Information: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 October 11; 108(41): 17230–17233.

Authors: Tim R. McClanahan; Nicholas A. J. Graham; M. Aaron MacNeil; Nyawira A. Muthiga; Joshua E. Cinner; J. Henrich Bruggemann; and Shaun K. Wilsone

Abstract: Sustainably managing ecosystems is challenging, especially for complex systems such as coral reefs. This study develops critical reference points for sustainable management by using a large empirical dataset on the coral reefs of the western Indian Ocean to investigate associations between levels of target fish biomass (as an indicator of fishing intensity) and eight metrics of ecosystem state. These eight ecological metrics each exhibited specific thresholds along a continuum of fishable biomass ranging from heavily fished sites to old fisheries closures. Three thresholds lay above and five below a hypothesized window of fishable biomass expected to produce a maximum multispecies sustainable yield (BMMSY). Evaluating three management systems in nine countries, we found that unregulated fisheries often operate below the BMMSY, whereas fisheries closures and, less frequently, gear-restricted fisheries were within or above this window. These findings provide tangible management targets for multispecies coral reef fisheries and highlight key tradeoffs required to achieve different fisheries and conservation goals.

Top 10 List: 
Coral Reef Management

Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in the Western Pacific

Citation Information: 2011; Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK

DOI: 10.1002/9780470959480

Editor: Edward Glazier

Abstract: The overarching goal of the initial workshop was to identify scientific protocol and information needed to support an ecosystem-based approach to marine resource management in the WPRFMC region of jurisdiction. In order to achieve this goal, the workshop was designed to address six basic objectives: (1) review ecosystem models in terms of management utility and application; (2) identify management requirements in theWestern Pacific region; (3) identify the best suite of quantitative ecosystem indicators and associated trade-offs to support ecosystem-based management; (4) within the confines of existing mandates, identify the most effective short-term application of ecosystem-based approaches to management that can be implemented based on current data, and in this context address whether a precautionary approach has a role; (5) identify new data or models that would be required to advance ecosystem-based approaches; and (6) identify changes in policy or science that would be needed to effectively implement those approaches in the region.

Four Regional Marine Biodiversity Studies: Approaches and Contributions to Ecosystem-Based Management

Citation Information: PLoS One. 2011; 6(4): e18997. Published online 2011 April 29

Authors: Sara L. Ellis; Lewis S. Incze; Peter Lawton; Henn Ojaveer; Brian R. MacKenzie; Roland Pitcher; Thomas C. Shirley; Margit Eero; John W. Tunnell, Jr; Peter J. Doherty; and Brad M. Zeller

Abstract: We compare objectives and approaches of four regional studies of marine biodiversity: Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life, Baltic Sea History of Marine Animal Populations, Great Barrier Reef Seabed Biodiversity Project, and Gulf of Mexico Biodiversity Project. Each program was designed as an “ecosystem” scale but was created independently and executed differently. Each lasted 8 to 10 years, including several years to refine program objectives, raise funding, and develop research networks. All resulted in improved baseline data and in new, or revised, data systems. Each contributed to the creation or evolution of interdisciplinary teams, and to regional, national, or international science-management linkages. To date, there have been differing extents of delivery and use of scientific information to and by management, with greatest integration by the program designed around specific management questions.

Report of the expert consultation on ecosystem-based fisheries management: Reykjavik, Iceland, 16-19 September 2002

Citation Information: FAO fisheries report; no. 690.

Summary: An Expert Consultation on Ecosystem-based Fisheri es Management was held in Reykjavik, Iceland, from 16 to 19 September 2002, in response to a request in the Reykjavik Declaration on Responsible Fisheries to develop technical guidelines for best practice with regard to introducing ecosystems considerations into fisheries management. The meeting was attended by 17 experts from 15 countries who drafted guidelines for an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) that will be published in the series of the FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries. The guidelines attempt to operationalize EAF by recognizing that it is an extension of current management practices, but broadens these to take into account the biotic, abiotic and human components of ecosystems in whi ch fisheries operate. The guidelines provide an approach to translate the high level policy goals of the economic, social and ecological dimensions of sustainable development already agreed in a range of instruments and agreements into operational obj ectives, indicators and performance measures that can be implemented at a practical level to achieve EAF.

Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World

Citation Information: 401 pp., hardback; New York, NY, USA: Springer-Science & Business Media LLC; 2009

ISBN: 978 0 387 73032 5


Description: Natural resource management is entering a new era in which rapid environmental and social changes inevitably alter ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society. This textbook provides a new framework for natural resource management—a framework based on stewardship of ecosystems for ecological integrity and human well-being in a world dominated by uncertainty and change. The goal of ecosystem stewardship is to respond to and shape changes in social-ecological systems in order to sustain the supply and availability of ecosystem services by society. The book links recent advances in the theory of resilience, sustainability, and vulnerability with practical issues of ecosystem management and governance. Chapters by leading experts then illustrate these principles in major social-ecological systems of the world. Inclusion of review questions, glossary, and suggestions for additional reading makes Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World particularly suitable for use in all courses of resource management, resource ecology, sustainability science, and the human dimensions of global change. Professional resource managers, policy makers, leaders of NGOs, and researchers will find this novel synthesis a valuable tool in developing strategies for a more sustainable planet.

Creating and sustaining community capacity for ecosystem-based management: Is local government the key

Citation Information: Journal of Environmental Management; Volume 88, Issue 4, September 2008, Pages 1396–1405

Authors: William E. Fleeger; Mimi L. Becker

Abstract: Recently, collaborative approaches to natural resource management have been widely promoted as ways to broaden participation and community involvement in furthering the goals of ecosystem management. The language of collaboration has even been incorporated into controversial legislation, such as the US Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003. This research examines collaboration and sharing management responsibility for federal public land with local communities through a case study of the Ashland Municipal Watershed in southern Oregon. A policy sciences approach is used to analyze community participation and institutional relationships between the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, and local city government in the planning processes of five land management actions occurring over a 7-year period. The knowledge gained from examining differing approaches to planning and decision making in the Ashland watershed is used to suggest future planning processes to develop and sustain the community capacity necessary to support implementation of community-based ecosystem management.

Ecosystem-based management for marine fisheries: an evolving perspective

Citation Information: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2011; 384 pages, [4] p. of plates : color illustrations, maps

Editors: Andrea Belgrano, Charles W. Fowler

Summary: Showing how big-picture patterns can help overcome the failures of conventional management, this book is ideal for students, researchers and professionals involved with marine fisheries. It explores not only the current practice of the 'ecosystem approach' to fisheries management but also its critical importance to even larger perspectives. The first section gives a valuable overview of how more and more of the complexity of real-world systems is being recognized and involved in the management of fisheries around the world. The second section then demonstrates how important aspects of real-world systems, involving population dynamics, evolution and behavior, remain to be taken into account completely. This section also shows how we must change the way we think about our involvement in, and the complexity of, marine ecosystems. The final chapters consider how, with the use of carefully chosen macroecological patterns, we can take important steps towards more holistic management of marine fisheries...

Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management: Confronting Trade-offs

Citation Information: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2010; Hardback, 30 black and white illustrations and 17 tables, 224 p.

ISBN: 9780521762984

Editor: Jason Link

Description: Responsible fisheries management is of increasing interest to the scientific community, resource managers, policy makers, stakeholders and the general public. Focusing solely on managing one species of fish stock at a time has become less of a viable option in addressing the problem. Incorporating more holistic considerations into fisheries management by addressing the trade-offs among the range of issues involved, such as ecological principles, legal mandates and the interests of stakeholders, will hopefully challenge and shift the perception that doing ecosystem-based fisheries management is unfeasible. Demonstrating that EBFM is in fact feasible will have widespread impact, both in US and international waters. Using case studies, underlying philosophies and analytical approaches, this book brings together a range of interdisciplinary topics surrounding EBFM and considers these simultaneously, with an aim to provide tools for successful implementation and to further the debate on EBFM, ultimately hoping to foster enhanced living marine resource management.

Navigating the transition to ecosystem-based management of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Citation Information: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 July 15; 105(28): 9489–9494.

Authors: Per Olsson, Carl Folke, and Terry P. Hughes

Abstract: We analyze the strategies and actions that enable transitions toward ecosystem-based management using the recent governance changes of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park as a case study. The interplay among individual actors, organizations, and institutions at multiple levels is central in such transitions. A flexible organization, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, was crucial in initiating the transition to ecosystem-based management. This agency was also instrumental in the subsequent transformation of the governance regime and provided leadership throughout the process. Strategies involved internal reorganization and management innovation, leading to an ability to coordinate the scientific community, to increase public awareness of environmental issues and problems, to involve a broader set of stakeholders, and to maneuver the political system for support at critical times. The transformation process was induced by increased pressure on the Great Barrier Reef (from terrestrial runoff, overharvesting, and global warming) that triggered a new sense of urgency to address these challenges. The focus of governance shifted from protection of selected individual reefs to stewardship of the larger-scale seascape. The study emphasizes the significance of stewardship that can change patterns of interactions among key actors and allow for new forms of management and governance to emerge in response to environmental change. This example illustrates that enabling legislations or other social bounds are essential, but not sufficient for shifting governance toward adaptive comanagement of complex marine ecosystems.

Science in support of ecosystem-based management for the US West Coast and beyond

Citation Information: Biological conservation; 2010 Mar., v. 143, no. 3

Authors: Lester, Sarah E.; McLeod, Karen L.; Tallis, Heather; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Levin, Phillip S.; Chavez, Francisco P.; Pomeroy, Caroline; McCay, Bonnie J.; Costello, Christopher; Gaines, Steven D.; Mace, Amber J.; Barth, John A.; Fluharty, David L.; Parrish, Julia K.

Abstract: Declining ocean health, increasing human demands on marine ecosystems, and a history of management focused on individual activities, species or sectors has led to calls for more comprehensive, integrated management that considers entire coupled social-ecological systems. This transition to ecosystem-based management (EBM) for the oceans will certainly face a number of hurdles, and many practitioners struggle with how to move forward with EBM. In this paper, we assess whether the necessary science exists to support EBM. Specifically, we evaluate the state of the social and natural sciences for three research areas that are critical to EBM: (1) ecosystem services, (2) cumulative impacts, and (3) ecosystem variability and change. For each of the three research areas, we describe its importance to EBM and assess existing and emerging information and application of this knowledge, focusing on the US West Coast. We conclude that available science is not the bottleneck for moving forward with comprehensive EBM for this region, although we highlight important remaining knowledge gaps, particularly within the social sciences. Given imperfect and uncertain knowledge, EBM calls for an adaptive management approach, starting with readily available information, and continuously adapting as new information emerges. This synthesis can serve as a basis for comparison for other regions; it provides guidance for organizing information in support of EBM and outlines many novel and broadly applicable scientific approaches.

Resilience, robustness, and marine ecosystem-based management

Citation Information: BioScience 58(1):27-32. 2008


Abstract: Marine ecosystems provide essential services to humans, yet these services have been diminished, and their future sustainability endangered, by human patterns of exploitation that threaten system robustness and resilience. Marine ecosystems are complex adaptive systems composed of individual agents that interact with one another to produce collective effects, integrating scales from individual behaviors to the dynamics of whole systems. In such systems, small changes can be magnified through nonlinear interactions, facilitating regime shifts and collapses. Protection of the services these ecosystems provide must therefore maintain the adaptive capacities of these systems by preserving a balance among heterogeneity, modularity, and redundancy, tightening feedback loops to provide incentives for sound stewardship. The challenge for management is to increase incentives to individuals, and tighten reward loops, in ways that will strengthen the robustness and resilience of these systems and preserve their ability to provide ecosystem services for generations to come.

Marine Ecosystem-based Management in Practice: Scientific and Governance Challenges

Citation Information: BioScience 58(1):53-63. 2008


Abstract: Ecosystem-based management (EBM) in the ocean is a relatively new approach, and existing applications are evolving from more traditional management of portions of ecosystems. Because comprehensive examples of EBM in the marine environment do not yet exist, we first summarize EBM principles that emerge from the fisheries and marine social and ecological literature. We then apply those principles to four cases in which large parts of marine ecosystems are being managed, and ask how including additional components of an EBM approach might improve the prospects for those ecosystems. The case studies provide examples of how additional elements of EBM approaches, if applied, could improve ecosystem function. In particular, two promising next steps for applying EBM are to identify management objectives for the ecosystem, including natural and human goals, and to ensure that the governance structure matches with the scale over which ecosystem elements are measured and managed.

Top 10 List: 
Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)

Taxonomic Distinctness of Demersal Fishes of the California Current: Moving Beyond Simple Measures of Diversity for Marine Ecosystem-Based Management

Citation Information: PLoS One. 2010; 5(5): e10653; Published online 2010 May 17.

Authors: Nick Tolimieri and Marti J. Anderson

Abstract: Large-scale patterns or trends in species diversity have long interested ecologists. The classic pattern is for diversity (e.g., species richness) to decrease with increasing latitude. Taxonomic distinctness is a diversity measure based on the relatedness of the species within a sample. Here we examined patterns of taxonomic distinctness in relation to latitude (ca. 32–48 °N) and depth (ca. 50–1220 m) for demersal fishes on the continental shelf and slope of the US Pacific coast.

Both average taxonomic distinctness (AvTD) and variation in taxonomic distinctness (VarTD) changed with latitude and depth. AvTD was highest at approximately 500 m and lowest at around 200 m bottom depth. Latitudinal trends in AvTD were somewhat weaker and were depth-specific. AvTD increased with latitude on the shelf (50–150 m) but tended to decrease with latitude at deeper depths. Variation in taxonomic distinctness (VarTD) was highest around 300 m. As with AvTD, latitudinal trends in VarTD were depth-specific. On the shelf (50–150 m), VarTD increased with latitude, while in deeper areas the patterns were more complex. Closer inspection of the data showed that the number and distribution of species within the class Chondrichthyes were the primary drivers of the overall patterns seen in AvTD and VarTD, while the relatedness and distribution of species in the order Scorpaeniformes appeared to cause the relatively low observed values of AvTD at around 200 m.

These trends contrast to some extent the patterns seen in earlier studies for species richness and evenness in demersal fishes along this coast and add to our understanding of diversity of the demersal fishes of the California Current.

Identifying Thresholds for Ecosystem-Based Management

Citation Information: PLoS One. 2010; 5(1): e8907; Published online 2010 January 26.

Authors: Jameal F. Samhouri, Phillip S. Levin, and Cameron H. Ainsworth

Abstract: One of the greatest obstacles to moving ecosystem-based management (EBM) from concept to practice is the lack of a systematic approach to defining ecosystem-level decision criteria, or reference points that trigger management action.

To assist resource managers and policymakers in developing EBM decision criteria, we introduce a quantitative, transferable method for identifying utility thresholds. A utility threshold is the level of human-induced pressure (e.g., pollution) at which small changes produce substantial improvements toward the EBM goal of protecting an ecosystem's structural (e.g., diversity) and functional (e.g., resilience) attributes. The analytical approach is based on the detection of nonlinearities in relationships between ecosystem attributes and pressures. We illustrate the method with a hypothetical case study of (1) fishing and (2) nearshore habitat pressure using an empirically-validated marine ecosystem model for British Columbia, Canada, and derive numerical threshold values in terms of the density of two empirically-tractable indicator groups, sablefish and jellyfish. We also describe how to incorporate uncertainty into the estimation of utility thresholds and highlight their value in the context of understanding EBM trade-offs.

For any policy scenario, an understanding of utility thresholds provides insight into the amount and type of management intervention required to make significant progress toward improved ecosystem structure and function. The approach outlined in this paper can be applied in the context of single or multiple human-induced pressures, to any marine, freshwater, or terrestrial ecosystem, and should facilitate more effective management.

Science for ecosystem-based management: Narragansett Bay in the 21st century

Citation Information: 2008; New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC; Springer Series on Environmental Management (ISSN 0172-6161)

ISBN: 0387352988

Editors: Alan Desbonnet, Barry A Costa-Pierce

Summary: In the U.S., approximately two-thirds of the coastal rivers and bays are moderately to severely degraded from nutrient pollution. The contributors to this book use long-term data sets to discuss the interactions among biological, ecological, chemical, and physical processes, and discuss what is known about nutrient inputs to the bay ecosystem, the impacts related to nutrient inputs, and how the ecosystem might respond to a sudden reduction in these inputs.

Ecosystem Services as a Common Language for Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management

Citation Information: Conservation biology; 2010 Feb., v. 24, no. 1


Abstract: Ecosystem-based management is logistically and politically challenging because ecosystems are inherently complex and management decisions affect a multitude of groups. Coastal ecosystems, which lie at the interface between marine and terrestrial ecosystems and provide an array of ecosystem services to different groups, aptly illustrate these challenges. Successful ecosystem-based management of coastal ecosystems requires incorporating scientific information and the knowledge and views of interested parties into the decision-making process. Estimating the provision of ecosystem services under alternative management schemes offers a systematic way to incorporate biogeophysical and socioeconomic information and the views of individuals and groups in the policy and management process. Employing ecosystem services as a common language to improve the process of ecosystem-based management presents both benefits and difficulties. Benefits include a transparent method for assessing trade-offs associated with management alternatives, a common set of facts and common currency on which to base negotiations, and improved communication among groups with competing interests or differing worldviews. Yet challenges to this approach remain, including predicting how human interventions will affect ecosystems, how such changes will affect the provision of ecosystem services, and how changes in service provision will affect the welfare of different groups in society. In a case study from Puget Sound, Washington, we illustrate the potential of applying ecosystem services as a common language for ecosystem-based management.

Ecosystem-based management for the oceans

Citation Information: 368 pp.; ISBN 978 1 59726 155 5; paperback; Washington, DC, USA/London, UK: Island Press, 2009


Description: Conventional management approaches cannot meet the challenges faced by ocean and coastal ecosystems today. Consequently, national and international bodies have called for a shift toward more comprehensive ecosystem-based marine management. Synthesizing a vast amount of current knowledge,Ecosystem-Based Management for the Oceans is a comprehensive guide to utilizing this promising new approach.

At its core, ecosystem-based management (EBM) is about acknowledging connections. Instead of focusing on the impacts of single activities on the delivery of individual ecosystem services, EBM focuses on the array of services that we receive from marine systems, the interactive and cumulative effects of multiple human activities on these coupled ecological and social systems, and the importance of working towards common goals across sectors. Ecosystem-Based Management for the Oceans provides a conceptual framework for students and professionals who want to understand and utilize this powerful approach. And it employs case studies that draw on the experiences of EBM practitioners to demonstrate how EBM principles can be applied to real-world problems.

The book emphasizes the importance of understanding the factors that contribute to social and ecological resilience —the extent to which a system can maintain its structure, function, and identity in the face of disturbance. Utilizing the resilience framework, professionals can better predict how systems will respond to a variety of disturbances, as well as to a range of management alternatives. Ecosystem-Based Management for the Oceans presents the latest science of resilience, while it provides tools for the design and implementation of responsive EBM solutions.

Top 10 List: 
Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)


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