SEAMANCORE: a spatially explicit simulation model for assisting the local MANagement of COral REefs
Minarro, S and Leins, J and Acevedo-Trejos, E and Fulton, EA and Reuter, H, SEAMANCORE: a spatially explicit simulation model for assisting the local MANagement of COral REefs, Ecological Modelling, 384 pp. 296-307. ISSN 0304-3800 (2018) [Refereed Article]
Simulation models have a broad potential as decision-support tools for resource management by mechanistically representing and projecting complex ecological processes. In the case of socioeconomically and biologically important coral reef ecosystems, models have been used to address important questions regarding the effects of human impacts on their ecological dynamics and to inform management approaches. However, few of the models integrate benthic and fish dynamics with the influence of external anthropogenic stressors, and virtually none is available as a user-friendly platform for non-scientist managers to easily access. We propose a new ecological model to assess the effects of simultaneous stressors on coral reef ecosystems which includes a dynamic representation of benthic and fish spatial processes, linked by their ecological feedbacks. SEAMANCORE is a two-dimensional model representing the dynamics of local coral reefs which can be used to explore the influence of bleaching, eutrophication, and fishing, including destructive fishing such as bomb and cyanide fishing. The model is coupled with a menu-based interface that allows users with no programming experience to simulate numerous scenarios in specific contexts that can be customized with depth profile maps and initial coral reef conditions of fish and benthos functional group abundance. This study includes SEAMANCOREís description and shows the modelís sensitivity to its parameters by means of sensitivity analyses. Its utility is exemplified by exploring various scenarios of no stressors, fishing and bleaching regimes in a theoretical coral reef. We expect that linking fish demographics with changing habitat quality will prove insightful for fisheries management.