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The role of behavioural flexibility in a whole of ecosystem model


Van Putten, IE and Gorton, RJ and Fulton, EA and Thebaud, O, The role of behavioural flexibility in a whole of ecosystem model, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 70, (1) pp. 150-163. ISSN 1054-3139 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fss175


The predictive accuracy of complex fisheries models developed to anticipate the effects of changing fishery regulations appears to depend on a solid understanding of the processes and feedback systems linking biological and physical information to resource user. Many fisher decisions are modelled in the human component of the models, including inertia, or location choice flexibility. We unpack a whole of ecosystem system model and explore how location choice flexibility in fleet behaviour (sticking to the same seasonal and spatial distribution of fishing) affects outcomes such as catches and income levels and variability. Our analysis shows that the interpretation is not straightforward, and the relationship between behavioural flexibility and income level and income variability has to be considered in the context of three main fleet characteristics: profitability; how diversified the fleet is; and growing or declining target species biomass. We contend that making behavioural flexibility sensitive to the health of the stock and fleet profitability could potentially improve accuracy of large whole of ecosystem models such as Atlantis.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:behavioural flexibility, ecosystem modelling, fisher decision-making, risk perception
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological applications
Research Field:Ecosystem function
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Van Putten, IE (Dr Ingrid Van Putten)
UTAS Author:Fulton, EA (Dr Elizabeth Fulton)
ID Code:119548
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-08-02
Last Modified:2017-10-18

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