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Responses of ecological indicators to fishing pressure under environmental change: exploring non-linearity and thresholds


Fu, C and Xu, Y and Gruss, A and Bundy, A and Shannon, L and Heymans, JJ and Halouani, G and Akoglu, E and Lynam, CP and Coll, M and Fulton, EA and Velez, L and Shin, Y-J, Responses of ecological indicators to fishing pressure under environmental change: exploring non-linearity and thresholds, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 77, (4) pp. 1516-1531. ISSN 1054-3139 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsz182


Marine ecosystems are influenced by multiple stressors in both linear and non-linear ways. Using generalized additive models (GAMs) fitted to outputs from a multi-ecosystem, multi-model simulation experiment, we investigated 14 major ecological indicators across ten marine ecosystems about their responses to fishing pressure under: (i) three different fishing strategies (focusing on low-, high-, or all-trophic-level taxa); and (ii) four different scenarios of directional or random primary productivity change, a proxy for environmental change. From this work, we draw four major conclusions: (i) responses of indicators to fishing mortality in shapes, directions, and thresholds depend on the fishing strategies considered; (ii) most of the indicators demonstrate decreasing trends with increasing fishing mortality, with a few exceptions depending on the type of fishing strategy; (iii) most of the indicators respond to fishing mortality in a linear way, particularly for community and biomass-based indicators; and (iv) occurrence of threshold for non-linear-mixed type (i.e. non-linear with inflection points) is not prevalent within the fishing mortality rates explored. The conclusions drawn from the present study provide a knowledge base in indicators’ dynamics under different fishing and primary productivity levels, thereby facilitating the application of ecosystem-based fisheries management worldwide.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ecosystem-based fisheries management, generalized additive model, marine ecosystem model, non-linear response, primary productivity
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Fulton, EA (Dr Elizabeth Fulton)
ID Code:143239
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-03-06
Last Modified:2021-03-18

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