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Improving marine ecosystem models with biochemical tracers


Pethybridge, HR and Choy, CA and Polovina, JJ and Fulton, EA, Improving marine ecosystem models with biochemical tracers, Annual Review of Marine Science, 10 pp. 199-228. ISSN 1941-1405 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Annual Reviews

DOI: doi:10.1146/annurev-marine-121916-063256


Empirical data on food web dynamics and predator-prey interactions underpin ecosystem models, which are increasingly used to support strategic management of marine resources. These data have traditionally derived from stomach content analysis, but new and complementary forms of ecological data are increasingly available from biochemical tracer techniques. Extensive opportunities exist to improve the empirical robustness of ecosystem models through the incorporation of biochemical tracer data and derived indices, an area that is rapidly expanding because of advances in analytical developments and sophisticated statistical techniques. Here, we explore the trophic information required by ecosystem model frameworks (species, individual, and size based) and match them to the most commonly used biochemical tracers (bulk tissue and compound-specific stable isotopes, fatty acids, and trace elements). Key quantitative parameters derived from biochemical tracers include estimates of diet composition, niche width, and trophic position. Biochemical tracers also provide powerful insight into the spatial and temporal variability of food web structure and the characterization of dominant basal and microbial food web groups. A major challenge in incorporating biochemical tracer data into ecosystem models is scale and data type mismatches, which can be overcome with greater knowledge exchange and numerical approaches that transform, integrate, and visualize data.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:food webs, biomarkers, trophic ecology, trophodynamics, model assessment, stable isotopes, fatty acids, trace metals
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Climate change impacts and adaptation
Research Field:Climate change impacts and adaptation not elsewhere classified
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:123739
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:48
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2018-01-23
Last Modified:2018-11-06

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