Ecosystem-based Management (EBM)

Perceptions of system-identity and regime shift for marine ecosystems

van Putten I, Boschetti F, Ling S, Richards SA. Perceptions of system-identity and regime shift for marine ecosystems Link J. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://academic.oup.com/icesjms/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/icesjms/fsz058/5475850
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $45.00
Type: Journal Article

There is growing empirical evidence around the world demonstrating regime shifts of marine ecosystems. But generalizable criteria to detect and define regime shifts are elusive because of: (i) an incomplete scientific understanding of processes underlying regime shifts; (ii) because the baseline state and conditions are ill defined, and; (iii) due to an inherent ambiguity in the concept of system identity. We surveyed marine scientists in Tasmania, Australia, and determined the effect of changing conditions (including type of climate impact, species loss, species composition, spatio-temporal extent, and human intervention) on their perception of marine regime shift. We find, there is an objective difficulty in detecting regime shifts that goes beyond scientific uncertainty and there is disagreement on which configurations of change indeed constitute a regime shift. Furthermore, this difference of opinion was not related to the degree of confidence that scientists indicated when identifying regime shifts. This lack of consensus and seemingly unrelated scientific confidence, may be attributable to value ambiguity around people s attitudes, cognitive biases, and baseline shift. When applying evidenced-based reference points in well-reasoned Ecosystem Based Management, there should be scientific consensus on the manifestation and extent of specific regime shifts, and recognition of value ambiguities influencing scientific perceptions.

The Incorporation of Biophysical and Social Components in Coastal Management

Silva R, Chávez V, Bouma TJ, van Tussenbroek BI, Arkema KK, M. Martinez L, Oumeraci H, Heymans JJ, Osorio AF, Mendoza E, et al. The Incorporation of Biophysical and Social Components in Coastal Management. Estuaries and Coasts [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12237-019-00559-5
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Change is inherent in coastal systems, which are amongst the most dynamic ones on Earth. Increasing anthropogenic pressure on coastal zones interferes with natural coastal dynamics and can cause ecosystem imbalances that render the zones less stable. Furthermore, human occupation of coastal zones often requires an uncharacteristic degree of stability for these inherently dynamic coastal systems. Coastal management teams face multifaceted challenges in protecting, rehabilitating and conserving coastal systems. Diverse monitoring schemes and modelling tools have been developed to address these challenges. In this article, we explore various perspectives: the integration of biophysical, ecological and social components; the uncertainties of diverse data sources; and the development of flexible coastal interventions. We propose general criteria and guidance for an Ecosystem-based Management (EbM) to coastal management, which aims primarily at adaptation to global change and uncertainties, and to managing and integrating social aspects and biophysical components based on the flows of energy and matter.

Key Challenges in Advancing an Ecosystem-Based Approach to Marine Spatial Planning Under Economic Growth Imperatives

Lombard AT, Dorrington RA, Reed JRomay, Ortega-Cisneros K, Penry GSusan, Pichegru L, Smit KPam, Vermeulen EAnn, Witteveen M, Sink KJ, et al. Key Challenges in Advancing an Ecosystem-Based Approach to Marine Spatial Planning Under Economic Growth Imperatives. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00146/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In 2017, South Africa became the first African country to draft Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) legislation. The underlying legal framework supports the achievement of ecological, social and economic objectives, but a national policy to fast track the oceans economy provides a challenge for ecosystem-based approaches to MSP. During the 2018 International Marine Conservation Congress, we convened a session to present particular challenges that will likely apply to any developing country seeking to increase profits from existing, or proposed, marine activities. Here we present six multi-disciplinary research projects that support ecosystem-based approaches to MSP in South Africa, by addressing the following knowledge gaps and specific key challenges: (1) the lack of data-derived measurements of ecosystem condition (and the need to validate commonly-used proxy measures); (2) the need to develop models to better understand the potential impacts of climate change on food webs and fisheries; (3) the slow implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management, and the need to implement existing legal instruments that can support such an approach; (4) the paucity of evidence supporting dynamic ocean management strategies; (5) the requirement to manage conflicting objectives in growing marine tourism industries; and (6) the need to adopt systems thinking approaches to support integrated ocean management. We provide examples of specific research projects designed to address these challenges. The ultimate goal of this research is to advance a more integrated approach to ocean management in South Africa, using tools that can be applied in countries with similar socio-political and environmental contexts.

Global thresholds in properties emerging from cumulative curves of marine ecosystems

Libralato S, Pranovi F, Zucchetta M, Monti MAnelli, Link JS. Global thresholds in properties emerging from cumulative curves of marine ecosystems. Ecological Indicators [Internet]. 2019 ;103:554 - 562. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X19302341
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

There are several emergent properties useful as indicators of marine ecosystem status. Some of these are based on the cumulative trophic theory, which posits that biomass and production accumulate in repeatable and predictable patterns across trophic levels. These patterns result in a suite of curve parameters that can delineate when a marine ecosystem is undergoing perturbation or recovery. When looking at this suite of curve parameters, and their trajectories over time, a clear sense of perturbation, recovery, or transition can be delineated. From a set of over 3700 observations we established empirical threshold levels for the curve parameters, i.e., Trophic Level inflection point, Biomass inflection point and Steepness at 3.38 ± 0.05, 0.33 ± 0.01 and 0.50 ± 0.56, respectively. When the three parameters are examined collectively to determine whether a particular ecosystem datum was below or above each of these three thresholds, clear three-dimensional patterns emerged. First, some volumes in this 3-D space of parameters simply did not have data, and many volumes had very little. The majority of data (approximately 40%) occurred in situations with Steepness and Biomass inflection point higher than thresholds. Almost none of the ecosystems (<1%) was below all three thresholds at any point in time, a quarter of the data resulted in critical conditions for at least a couple of indicators, a little less than half of the ecosystems (52%) at any point in time seem to be quite functional from this emergent property perspective, and finally, a moderate number of ecosystems, at any point in time (22%), seem to be in some type of transition state. We assert that these emergent properties have value for delineating ecosystem state, and at the very least when the Biomass inflection point is <33% an ecosystem is understood to have been severely degraded. Using these three thresholds, and identifying whether data trajectories are crossing them or not, has strong potential to better indicate the status of marine ecosystems, trajectories thereof, and hence when management interventions are needed.

The potential of ecosystem-based management to integrate biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provision in aquatic ecosystems

Langhans SD, Jähnig SC, Lago M, Schmidt-Kloiber A, Hein T. The potential of ecosystem-based management to integrate biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provision in aquatic ecosystems. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. 2019 ;672:1017 - 1020. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719315384
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

Global aquatic biodiversity keeps declining rapidly, despite international efforts providing a variety of policies and legislations that identify goals for, and give directions to protecting the world's aquatic fauna and flora. With the H2020 project AQUACROSS, we have made an unprecedented effort to unify policy strategies, knowledge, and management concepts of freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems to support the achievement of the targets set by the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. AQUACROSS has embraced the concept of ecosystem-based management (EBM), which approaches environmental management from a social-ecological system perspective to protect biodiversity and to sustainably harvest ecosystem services. This special issue includes contributions resulting from AQUACROSS, which either tackle selected EBM challenges from a theoretical point of view or apply EBM in one of the selected case studies across Europe. In this article, we introduce relevant topics, address the most important lessons learnt, and suggest where research should go with aquatic EBM. We hope that this special issue will foster and facilitate the uptake of EBM in aquatic ecosystems and, therewith, provide the on-ground applications needed for evaluating EBM's utility to safeguard aquatic biodiversity.

Structured Decision-Making Identifies Effective Strategies and Potential Barriers for Ecosystem-Based Management of a Range-Extending Species in a Global Marine Hotspot

Robinson LM, Marzloff MP, van Putten I, Pecl G, Jennings S, Nicol S, Hobday AJ, Tracey S, Hartmann K, Haward M, et al. Structured Decision-Making Identifies Effective Strategies and Potential Barriers for Ecosystem-Based Management of a Range-Extending Species in a Global Marine Hotspot. Ecosystems [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10021-019-00358-w
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Climate-driven changes in ocean currents have facilitated the range extension of the long-spined sea urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii) from Australia’s mainland to eastern Tasmania over recent decades. Since its arrival, destructive grazing by the urchin has led to widespread formation of sea urchin ‘barrens’. The loss of habitat, biodiversity and productivity for important commercial reef species in conjunction with the development of an urchin fishery has led to conflicting objectives among stakeholders, which poses complex challenges for regional management. Stakeholder representatives and managers were engaged via a participatory workshop and subsequent one-on-one surveys to trial a structured decision-making process to identify effective ecosystem-based management strategies. We directly and indirectly elicited each stakeholder’s preferences for nine alternative management strategies by presenting them with the 10-year consequences of each strategy estimated from an ecosystem model of Tasmanian reef communities. These preferences were included in cost-effectiveness scores that were averaged (across stakeholders) to enable strategy ranking from most to least cost-effective. Rankings revealed strategies that included sea urchin removal or translocation of predatory lobsters were the most cost-effective. However, assessment of stakeholders’ individual cost-effectiveness scores showed some disparity among stakeholders’ preferences in high ranking strategies. Additionally, evaluating inconsistencies within some stakeholders’ scores that included direct or indirect preferences revealed conflicting objectives and cognitive bias as the most plausible explanations for these inconsistencies. Our study illustrates how structured decision-making can effectively facilitate ecosystem-based management by engaging stakeholders step-by-step towards management strategy implementation, identifying psychological barriers to decision-making and promoting collective learning.

Toward Ecosystem-Based Assessment and Management of Small-Scale and Multi-Gear Fisheries: Insights From the Tropical Eastern Pacific

Herrón P, Castellanos-Galindo GA, Stäbler M, Díaz JManuel, Wolff M. Toward Ecosystem-Based Assessment and Management of Small-Scale and Multi-Gear Fisheries: Insights From the Tropical Eastern Pacific. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00127/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Small-scale fisheries (SSF) remain a largely under-assessed and overlooked sector by governments and researchers, despite contributing approximately 50% to global fish landings and providing food and income for millions of people. The multi-species, multi-gear and data-poor nature of SSF makes implementation of traditional single-species management approaches – like catch-quotas or size limits – particularly challenging and insufficient. A more holistic approach is thus required, which demands assessment of ecological impacts. Here we carried out an estimation of selected ecological indicators of the impact of fisheries (mean length, maximum body size, mean trophic level, trophic and spatial guilds, threatened species and landed by-catch) based on the nominal catch of different gears in three representative SSF along the Colombian Pacific using landings data collected in multiple years (2011–2017). Results showed that taxonomic, size-based, functional and conservation features of the nominal catch vary greatly with geographical location and gear type used. Overall, handlines and longlines tend to select larger sizes and higher trophic levels than nets, but they also catch a higher proportion of intrinsically vulnerable species and species of conservation concern. This challenges the idea that more selective gears have overall lower ecological impacts. In contrast, nets target a wider size range – although focusing on small or medium sized fish – and include a higher diversity of trophic and spatial guilds, which could arguably be considered a more “balanced harvest” type of fishing that retains ecosystem structure and functionality. Bottom trawls, though, exhibited a relatively high percentage of landed by-catch, an undesirable feature for any fisheries in terms of sustainability. We propose that the assessment of a suite of ecological indicators, like those implemented here, should be included as part of periodic evaluations of multi-gear and multi-species SSF in tropical coastal areas, as a practical step toward ecosystem-based fisheries management.

Wind Energy and Wildlife Impacts: Towards an Ecosystem Approach to Assess the Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy

Pezy J-P, Raoux A, Niquil N, Dauvin J-C. Wind Energy and Wildlife Impacts: Towards an Ecosystem Approach to Assess the Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy. In: Bispo R, Bernardino J, Coelho H, Costa JLino Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2019. pp. 153 - 164. Available from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-05520-2_10
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $29.95
Type: Book Chapter

Since the beginning of the 2000’, the French government ambition was to have an offshore wind production formed 40% of the renewable electricity in 2030. Three calls tenders of Offshore Wind Farms (OWFs) construction have been pronounced since 2011. However, no offshore wind farm (OWF) had been constructed at the end of 2017 due to long administrative procedures and numerous appeals in justice, at French and European levels. Nevertheless, several studies have been enterprised to identify the environmental conditions and ecosystem functioning in selected sites before OWF implantations. However, these studies are generally focused on the conservation of some species or groups of species, and there is no holistic study on the effects of the construction and operation of OWF on an ecosystem taken as a whole. In 2017, a complete and integrated view of the ecosystem of two future OWF sites of the eastern English Channel (Courseulles-sur-Mer and Dieppe-Le Tréport) was developed to model the marine ecosystems before OWF implementation and to simulate reef effects due to new spatial occupation of maritime territory. Results contribute to a better knowledge of the impacts of the OWFs on the functioning of marine ecosystems. They also allow to define recommendations for environmental managers and industry in terms of monitoring the effects of marine renewable energy (MRE), not only locally but also on other sites, at national and European levels.

Wind Energy and Wildlife ImpactsTowards an Ecosystem Approach to Assess the Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy

Pezy J-P, Raoux A, Niquil N, Dauvin J-C. Wind Energy and Wildlife ImpactsTowards an Ecosystem Approach to Assess the Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy. In: Bispo R, Bernardino J, Coelho H, Costa JLino Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2019. pp. 153 - 164. Available from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-05520-2_10
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $29.95
Type: Book Chapter

Since the beginning of the 2000’, the French government ambition was to have an offshore wind production formed 40% of the renewable electricity in 2030. Three calls tenders of Offshore Wind Farms (OWFs) construction have been pronounced since 2011. However, no offshore wind farm (OWF) had been constructed at the end of 2017 due to long administrative procedures and numerous appeals in justice, at French and European levels. Nevertheless, several studies have been enterprised to identify the environmental conditions and ecosystem functioning in selected sites before OWF implantations. However, these studies are generally focused on the conservation of some species or groups of species, and there is no holistic study on the effects of the construction and operation of OWF on an ecosystem taken as a whole. In 2017, a complete and integrated view of the ecosystem of two future OWF sites of the eastern English Channel (Courseulles-sur-Mer and Dieppe-Le Tréport) was developed to model the marine ecosystems before OWF implementation and to simulate reef effects due to new spatial occupation of maritime territory. Results contribute to a better knowledge of the impacts of the OWFs on the functioning of marine ecosystems. They also allow to define recommendations for environmental managers and industry in terms of monitoring the effects of marine renewable energy (MRE), not only locally but also on other sites, at national and European levels.

Establishing causal links between aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: Status and research needs

Daam MA, Teixeira H, Lillebø AI, Nogueira AJA. Establishing causal links between aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: Status and research needs. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. 2019 ;656:1145 - 1156. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969718347685
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Understanding how changes in biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning is imperative in allowing Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM), especially when addressing global change and environmental degradation. Research into the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) has indeed increased considerably over the past decades. BEF research has focussed on terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems have received considerably less attention. Due to differences in phylogenetic diversity, ecological processes and reported BEF relationships, however, it may at least be questionable whether BEF relationships are exchangeable between these ecosystems (i.e. terrestrial and aquatic). The aim of the present paper was therefore to pinpoint key areas and bottlenecks in establishing BEF relationships for aquatic ecosystems (freshwater, transitional, and marine). To this end, the available literature with special emphasis on the last 10 years was assessed to evaluate: i) reported mechanisms and shapes of aquatic BEF relationships; ii) to what extent BEF relations are interchangeable or ecosystem-specific; and iii) contemporary gaps and needs in aquatic BEF research. Based on our analysis, it may be concluded that despite considerable progress in BEF research over the past decades, several bottlenecks still need to be tackled, namely incorporating the multitude of functions supported by ecosystems, functional distinctiveness of rare species, multitrophic interactions and spatial-temporal scales, before BEF relationships can be used in ecosystem-based management.

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