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Network approaches for formalizing conceptual models in ecosystem-based management


Reum, JCP and Kelble, CR and Harvey, CJ and Wildermuth, RP and Trifonova, N and Lucey, SM and McDonald, PS and Townsend, H, Network approaches for formalizing conceptual models in ecosystem-based management, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 78, (10) pp. 3674-3686. ISSN 1054-3139 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsab211


Qualitative Network Models (QNMs), Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCMs), and Bayesian Belief Networks (BBNs) have been proposed as methods to formalize conceptual models of social–ecological systems and project system responses to management interventions or environmental change. To explore how these different methods might influence conclusions about system dynamics, we assembled conceptual models representing three different coastal systems, adapted them to the network approaches, and evaluated outcomes under scenarios representing increased fishing effort and environmental warming. The sign of projected change was the same across the three network models for 31–60% of system variables on average. Pairwise agreement between network models was higher, ranging from 33 to 92%; average levels of similarity were comparable between network pairs. Agreement measures based on both the sign and strength of change were substantially worse for all model comparisons. These general patterns were similar across systems and scenarios. Different outcomes between models led to different inferences regarding trade-offs under the scenarios. We recommend deployment of all three methods, when feasible, to better characterize structural uncertainty and leverage insights gained under one framework to inform the others. Improvements in precision will require model refinement through data integration and model validation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Bayesian Belief Network, ecosystem-based management, food webs, Fuzzy Cognitive Map, Georges Bank, Mid-Barataria Basin, Pribilof Islands, Qualitative Network Model
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Reum, JCP (Dr Jonathan Reum)
ID Code:152048
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-08-10
Last Modified:2022-08-10

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