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Emergent properties delineate marine ecosystem perturbation and recovery


Link, JS and Pranovi, F and Libralato, S and Coll, M and Christensen, V and Solidoro, C and Fulton, EA, Emergent properties delineate marine ecosystem perturbation and recovery, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 30, (11) pp. 649-661. ISSN 0169-5347 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.tree.2015.08.011


Whether there are common and emergent patterns from marine ecosystems remains an important question because marine ecosystems provide billions of dollars of ecosystem services to the global community, but face many perturbations with significant consequences. Here, we develop cumulative trophic patterns for marine ecosystems, featuring sigmoidal cumulative biomass (cumB)–trophic level (TL) and ‘hockey-stick’ production (cumP)–cumB curves. The patterns have a trophodynamic theoretical basis and capitalize on emergent, fundamental, and invariant features of marine ecosystems. These patterns have strong global support, being observed in over 120 marine ecosystems. Parameters from these curves elucidate the direction and magnitude of marine ecosystem perturbation or recovery; if biomass and productivity can be monitored effectively over time, such relations may prove to be broadly useful. Curve parameters are proposed as possible ecosystem thresholds, perhaps to better manage the marine ecosystems of the world.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biomass, ecosystem management, ecosystem service, magnitude, marine ecosystem, threshold
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:Fulton, EA (Dr Elizabeth Fulton)
ID Code:119994
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-08-08
Last Modified:2017-09-11

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