Ecosystem-based Management (EBM)

From ‘clean and green’ to ‘brown and down’: A synthesis of historical changes to biodiversity and marine ecosystems in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Urlich SC, Handley SJ. From ‘clean and green’ to ‘brown and down’: A synthesis of historical changes to biodiversity and marine ecosystems in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2020 ;198:105349. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569120302593?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a potential antidote to the alleviation of multiple stressors in highly-valued and contested marine environments. An understanding of the magnitude and drivers of past ecosystem changes can inform the development of realistic ecological and social outcomes for different places. These goals should aim to increase the ecological health and resilience of coastal ecosystems and their connected land- and sea-scapes by minimising anthropogenic disturbances. To address knowledge gaps, we present a marine historical synthesis of the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand's South Island. These rias are strongly coupled to the surrounding land and inland river catchments. We took an integrated approach by examining effects of land use change on coastal ecosystems, along with case studies of the effects of exploitation on foundational marine species. We found that ecosystems have gone through a series of transformations since Māori settlement ca. 700 years ago, with localised extirpations of marine megafauna, overharvesting of exploited species, and disruption to ecological functioning through ongoing clearfelling of terrestrial and marine biogenic communities since European settlement in the 1800s. There has been a decline from great abundance of marine life to relative scarcity, which is currently evident to local people in increased effort and reduced allowable catches of fish and shellfish. Recovery of biodiversity in the short-term within the Marlborough Sounds is uncertain, given ongoing multiple and interacting stressors from unsustainable land-use and over-exploitation of marine life. Lifting baselines are possible but will require significant changes to land and marine management to restore ecological health and enhance resilience in the face of climate change. Increased marine protection, regeneration of biodiverse biogenic habitats, spatial fishing measures to increase predators of sea urchins, stricter regulation of plantation forestry and a replanting prohibition in critical erosion source areas, are all needed within an EBM framework. Large experimental areas are proposed to develop, test and integrate different management techniques, and to facilitate community understanding, participation, and support for the transition to EBM.

Comparing feedback and spatial approaches to advance ecosystem-based fisheries management in a changing Antarctic

Klein ES, Watters GM. Comparing feedback and spatial approaches to advance ecosystem-based fisheries management in a changing Antarctic Ropert-Coudert Y. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2020 ;15(9):e0231954. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0231954
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

To implement ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management, decision makers need insight on the potential costs and benefits of the policy options available to them. In the Southern Ocean, two such options for addressing trade-offs between krill-dependent predators and the krill fishery include “feedback management” (FBM) strategies and marine protected areas (MPAs); in theory, the first adjusts to change, while the latter is robust to change. We compared two possible FBM options to a proposed MPA in the Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Sea given a changing climate. One of our feedback options, based on the density of Antarctic krill (Euphasia superba), projected modest increases in the abundances of some populations of krill predators, whereas outcomes from our second FBM option, based on changes in the abundances of penguins, were more mixed, with some areas projecting predator population declines. The MPA resulted in greater increases in some, but not all, predator populations than either feedback strategy. We conclude that these differing outcomes relate to the ways the options separate fishing and predator foraging, either by continually shifting the spatial distribution of fishing away from potentially vulnerable populations (FBM) or by permanently closing areas to fishing (the MPA). For the krill fishery, we show that total catches could be maintained using an FBM approach or slightly increased with the MPA, but the fishery would be forced to adjust fishing locations and sometimes fish in areas of relatively low krill density–both potentially significant costs. Our work demonstrates the potential to shift, rather than avoid, ecological risks and the likely costs of fishing, indicating trade-offs for decision makers to consider.

Marine Heatwave Stress Test of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in the Gulf of Alaska Pacific Cod Fishery

Barbeaux SJ, Holsman K, Zador S. Marine Heatwave Stress Test of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in the Gulf of Alaska Pacific Cod Fishery. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00703/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1418755_45_Marine_20200903_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In 2014–2016 an unprecedented warming event in the North Pacific Ocean triggered changes in ecosystem of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) impacting fisheries management. The marine heatwave was noteworthy in its geographical extent, depth range, and persistence, with evidence of shifts in species distribution and reduced productivity. In 2017 a groundfish survey indicated that GOA Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) had experienced a 71% decline in abundance from the previous 2015 survey. The GOA Pacific cod fishery supports a $103 million fishery which is 29% of the groundfish harvest value in the GOA. In this paper, we demonstrate that an increase in metabolic demand during this extended marine heatwave as well as a reduced prey supply can explain the decline in GOA Pacific cod biomass. Although increased mortality likely led to the decline in the Pacific cod population, historically low recruitment concurrent with the heatwave portends a slow recovery for the stock and gives a preview of impacts facing this region due to climate change. We evaluate the intersection of climate change with ecosystem-based fisheries management in the context of GOA Pacific cod with a description of the sensitivities of the ecosystem, how the changes in the ecosystem affected the Pacific cod stock, and a description of how the management system in the North Pacific handled this shock. We also provide suggestions on how fisheries management systems could be improved to better contend with the impacts of climate change such as the effects of heatwaves like that experienced in 2014–2016.

 

Shorebirds Affect Ecosystem Functioning on an Intertidal Mudflat

Booty JM, Underwood GJC, Parris A, Davies RG, Tolhurst TJ. Shorebirds Affect Ecosystem Functioning on an Intertidal Mudflat. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00685/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1418755_45_Marine_20200903_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ecosystem functioning and services have provided a rationale for conservation over the past decades. Intertidal muddy sediments, and the microphytobenthic biofilms that inhabit them, perform crucial ecosystem functions including erosion protection, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration. It has been suggested that predation on sediment macrofauna by shorebirds may impact biofilms, and shorebirds are known to consume biofilm, potentially causing significant top-down effects on mudflat ecosystem functioning. We carried out an exclusion experiment on the Colne Estuary, Essex, to examine whether shorebird presence significantly affects sediment erodibility measured with a Cohesive Strength Meter (CSM) and microphytobenthos biomass measured using PAM fluorescence (Fo) and chlorophyll a content. We also tested for treatment effects on sediment-water nutrient fluxes [nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, phosphate and dissolved organic carbon (DOC)] during periods of both dark and light incubation. Excluding shorebirds caused statistically significant changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem functions, including mudflat erodibility and nutrient fluxes. The presence of shorebirds lowered the sediment critical erosion threshold τcr, reduced nitrate fluxes into the sediment under illumination, lowered nitrate efflux, and reduced phosphate uptake, compared to sediments where birds were excluded. There were no significant differences in macrofauna community composition within the sediment between treatments after 45 days of bird exclusion, suggesting a direct link between shorebird presence or absence and the significant differences in biofilm-related variables. This study introduces previously unknown effects of shorebird presence on ecosystem functions within this system and highlights an area of shorebird science that could aid joint conservation and human provisioning action.

Ecosystem-Based Harvest Control Rules for Norwegian and US Ecosystems

Kaplan IC, Hansen C, Morzaria-Luna HNalini, Girardin R, Marshall KN. Ecosystem-Based Harvest Control Rules for Norwegian and US Ecosystems. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00652/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1406443_45_Marine_20200818_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Management strategy evaluation (MSE) provides a simulation framework to test the performance of living marine resource management. MSE has now been adopted broadly for use in single-species fishery management, often using a relatively simple “operating model” that projects population dynamics of one species forward in time. However, many challenges in ecosystem-based management involve tradeoffs between multiple species and interactions of multiple stressors. Here we use complex operating models, multi-species ecosystem models of the California Current and Nordic and Barents Seas, to test threshold harvest control rules that explicitly address the linkage between predators and prey, and between the forage needs of predators and fisheries. Specifically, within Atlantis ecosystem models we focus on how forage (zooplankton) availability affects the performance of harvest rules for target fish, and how these harvest rules for fish can account for environmentally-driven fluctuations in zooplankton. Our investigation led to three main results. First, consistent with studies based on single-species operating models, we found that compared to constant F = FMSY policies, threshold rules led to higher target stock biomass for Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) in the California Current and mackerel (Scomber scombrus) in the Nordic and Barents Seas. Performance in terms of catch of these species varied depending partly on the biomass and recovery trajectory for the simulated stock. Secondly, the multi-species operating models and the harvest control rules that linked fishing mortality rates to prey biomass (zooplankton) led to increased catch variability; this stemmed directly from the harvest rule that frequently adjusted Pacific hake or mackerel fishing rates in response to zooplankton, which are quite variable in these two ecosystems. Thirdly, tests suggested that threshold rules that increased fishing when productivity (zooplankton) declined had the potential for strong ecosystem effects on other species. These effects were most apparent in the Nordic and Barents Seas simulations. The tests of harvest control rules here do not include uncertainty in monitoring of fish and zooplankton, nor do they include uncertainty in stock assessment and implementation; these would be required for full MSE. Additionally, we intentionally chose target fish with strong mechanistic links to particular zooplankton groups, with the simplifying assumption that zooplankton biomass followed a forced time series. Further developing and testing of ecosystem-level considerations can be achieved with end-to-end ecosystem models, such as the Atlantis models applied here, which have the added benefit of tracking the follow-on effects of the harvest control rule on the broader ecosystem.

Global hotspots for coastal ecosystem-based adaptation

Jones HP, Nickel B, Srebotnjak T, Turner W, Gonzalez-Roglich M, Zavaleta E, Hole DG. Global hotspots for coastal ecosystem-based adaptation Villamayor-Tomas S. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2020 ;15(5):e0233005. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0233005
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Helping the world’s coastal communities adapt to climate change impacts requires evaluating the vulnerability of coastal communities and assessing adaptation options. This includes understanding the potential for ‘natural’ infrastructure (ecosystems and the biodiversity that underpins them) to reduce communities’ vulnerability, alongside more traditional ‘hard’ infrastructure approaches. Here we present a spatially explicit global evaluation of the vulnerability of coastal-dwelling human populations to key climate change exposures and explore the potential for coastal ecosystems to help people adapt to climate change (ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA)). We find that mangroves and coral reefs are particularly well situated to help people cope with current weather extremes, a function that will only increase in importance as people adapt to climate change now and in coming decades. We find that around 30.9 million people living within 2km of the coast are highly vulnerable to tropical storms and sea-level rise (SLR). Mangroves and coral reefs overlap these threats to at least 5.3 and 3.4 million people, respectively, with substantial potential to dissipate storm surges and improve resilience against SLR effects. Significant co-benefits from mangroves also accrue, with 896 million metric tons of carbon stored in their soils and above- and below-ground biomass. Our framework offers a tool for prioritizing ‘hotspots’ of coastal EbA potential for further, national and local analyses to quantify risk reduction and, thereby, guide investment in coastal ecosystems to help people adapt to climate change. In doing so, it underscores the global role that conserving and restoring ecosystems can play in protecting human lives and livelihoods, as well as biodiversity, in the face of climate change.

Global hotspots for coastal ecosystem-based adaptation

Jones HP, Nickel B, Srebotnjak T, Turner W, Gonzalez-Roglich M, Zavaleta E, Hole DG. Global hotspots for coastal ecosystem-based adaptation Villamayor-Tomas S. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2020 ;15(5):e0233005. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0233005
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Helping the world’s coastal communities adapt to climate change impacts requires evaluating the vulnerability of coastal communities and assessing adaptation options. This includes understanding the potential for ‘natural’ infrastructure (ecosystems and the biodiversity that underpins them) to reduce communities’ vulnerability, alongside more traditional ‘hard’ infrastructure approaches. Here we present a spatially explicit global evaluation of the vulnerability of coastal-dwelling human populations to key climate change exposures and explore the potential for coastal ecosystems to help people adapt to climate change (ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA)). We find that mangroves and coral reefs are particularly well situated to help people cope with current weather extremes, a function that will only increase in importance as people adapt to climate change now and in coming decades. We find that around 30.9 million people living within 2km of the coast are highly vulnerable to tropical storms and sea-level rise (SLR). Mangroves and coral reefs overlap these threats to at least 5.3 and 3.4 million people, respectively, with substantial potential to dissipate storm surges and improve resilience against SLR effects. Significant co-benefits from mangroves also accrue, with 896 million metric tons of carbon stored in their soils and above- and below-ground biomass. Our framework offers a tool for prioritizing ‘hotspots’ of coastal EbA potential for further, national and local analyses to quantify risk reduction and, thereby, guide investment in coastal ecosystems to help people adapt to climate change. In doing so, it underscores the global role that conserving and restoring ecosystems can play in protecting human lives and livelihoods, as well as biodiversity, in the face of climate change.

Spatial Management Units as an Ecosystem-Based Approach for Managing Bottom-Towed Fisheries in the Central Mediterranean Sea

Lauria V, Gristina M, Fiorentino F, Attrill MJ, Garofalo G. Spatial Management Units as an Ecosystem-Based Approach for Managing Bottom-Towed Fisheries in the Central Mediterranean Sea. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00233/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1320398_45_Marine_20200505_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine ecosystems are being continually impacted by human activities and, among these, fisheries have been one of the most damaging. Fisheries modify the structure and functioning of food-webs through biomass removal and physical damage to the seabed, leading to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by the oceans. The ecosystem-based approach to fisheries is considered the most efficient way to achieve the goal of sustainable use of marine resources while allowing for biodiversity protection. The Strait of Sicily is a biologically important area of the central Mediterranean Sea characterized by high habitat complexity and rich biodiversity, however, due to the multispecific nature of local fisheries and weak implementation of the adopted management plans, this region is particularly vulnerable. We used fishery independent time series (1994–2016) to identify the main demersal assemblages and map their spatial distribution. The pressure of fishing effort on each of these defined assemblages was then quantified in order to evaluate the impact of bottom trawling on demersal communities. Our results showed four spatially distinct and temporally stable assemblages of the Strait of Sicily. These have a clear spatial distribution, different species composition and biodiversity values and are driven primarily by environmental gradients (i.e., mainly depth and, to a lesser extent, surface salinity). The demersal assemblages were subsequently grouped in homogeneous areas characterized by specific communities of commercial and non-commercial species and response to trawling impacts. These areas are proposed as Spatial Managements Units to evaluate and manage demersal mixed fisheries, while also considering biodiversity conservation in the central Mediterranean Sea.

Optimization of hatchery-origin Chinook and hatchery- and natural-origin coho salmon releases in the Salish Sea through ecosystem-based management: adapting hatchery practices to pink salmon abundance

Kendall NW, Nelson BW, Losee JP. Optimization of hatchery-origin Chinook and hatchery- and natural-origin coho salmon releases in the Salish Sea through ecosystem-based management: adapting hatchery practices to pink salmon abundance. Pacific Salmon Commission; 2020. Available from: https://www.psc.org/fund-project/optimization-of-hatchery-chinook-salmon-releases-in-the-salish-sea-through-ecosystem-based-management-adapting-hatchery-practices-to-pink-and-chum-salmon-abundance/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Producing more hatchery Chinook salmon juveniles has recently been proposed in Washington State with hopes of enhanced ecosystem and fisheries benefits. However, it has recently been shown that even the vast North Pacific Ocean cannot support an infinite number of salmon (Ruggerone and Irvine 2018), and it appears that mortality of salmon in the Salish Sea can also be density dependent (Ruggerone and Goetz 2004). Density-dependent effects between pink salmon in particular (the most numerous species, but also chum salmon) and Chinook salmon have been documented by an increasing number of studies (e.g., Ruggerone and Nielsen 2004; Ruggerone et al. 2003), suggesting that salmon compete for food in the ocean, which can lead to reduced growth, delayed age at maturation, and lower survival rates (Ruggerone and Irvine 2018). Preliminary analyses of the relationships between Chinook salmon hatchery production and numbers surviving to adulthood suggest reduced Chinook survival in years when large numbers of juvenile pink salmon also out-migrate. In some regions, this density-dependent mortality may be so strong that large increases in hatchery releases may limit the number of returning adults.

We propose to evaluate the following questions: what Chinook salmon juvenile release abundance values are associated with greatest marine survival rates? How do survival rates vary with different numbers of juvenile pink salmon out-migrating in the Salish Sea? How do these relationships differ among Chinook salmon stocks from various regions of the Salish Sea?

Analysis of sustainability ecosystem mangrove management in Pangkah Wetan and Pangkah Kulon Villages Area, Ujungpangkah District, Gresik Regency, East Java Province

Santoso N, Sutopo , Nugraha RP. Analysis of sustainability ecosystem mangrove management in Pangkah Wetan and Pangkah Kulon Villages Area, Ujungpangkah District, Gresik Regency, East Java Province. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science [Internet]. 2019 ;399:012007. Available from: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/399/1/012007
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Mangroves provide several important functions such as gatherings, nurseries, living areas, and eating habitats. The best management plan designed for the conservation of mangrove wetlands must be considered as well as an ecological and social facility. The purpose of this study was to analyze the sustainability of mangrove ecosystem management from the ecological, economic, social, institutional and technological dimensions using the MDS (Multi Dimension Scaling) method through the RAP-MANGROVE (Rapid Assessment for Mangrove) approach in Pangkah Wetan and Pangkah Kulon Villages, Ujungpangkah District, Gresik Regency, East Java Province. The results of the study show that the sustainability index of the mangrove ecosystem in the Pangkah Wetan Village for ecological, institutional, and technological dimensions are less sustainable, while for economic and social dimensions are sufficiently sustainable; while in the Pangkah Kulon Village for ecological, social, institutional, and technology dimensions are sufficiently sustainable, while for economic dimension is sustainable. Based on the results of leverage analysis, it shows attributes that are very sensitive to the sustainability status of mangrove ecosystems, for the ecological dimension are fauna diversity in mangrove ecosystems, and coastline changes. The sensitive attributes in the economic dimension are a type of direct use mangrove ecosystems for community, and contributions mangrove ecosystem to increasing labor; while in social dimension are mangrove ecosystems damaged by community and community access to utilize mangrove ecosystems. The sensitive attributes in the institutional dimension are involvement of community institutions regarding mangrove ecosystem management and the existence of sanctions for violating regulations in the mangrove ecosystem; while in technological dimension are processing techniques for mangrove products, and the techniques for capturing biota in mangrove ecosystems. The results of the Monte Carlo analysis show that the overall dimensions in this study are adequate and valid (indicated by the difference between MDS and Monte Carlo <5%), while the Goodness of Fit analysis shows an S-stress value of <0.25 for each dimension, so the RAP-MANGROVE model in this analysis it is a good model and can be used to analyze the accuracy of the sustainability of mangrove ecosystem management.

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