Constructing end-to-end models using ECOPATH data
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The wide availability of ECOPATH data sets provides a valuable resource for the comparative analysis of marine ecosystems. We show how to derive a bottom-up transform from the top-down ECOPATH; couple this to a simple NPZD web with physical forcing; and use the end-to-end model (E2E) for scenario construction. This steady state format also provides a framework and initial conditions for different dynamic simulations. This model can be applied to shelf ecosystems with a wide range of physical forcing, coupled benthic/pelagic food webs, and nutrient recycling. We illustrate the general application and the specific problems by transforming an ECOPATH model for the Northern Californian Current (NCC). We adapt results on the upwelling regime to provide estimates of physical fluxes and use these to show the consequences of different upwelling rates combined with variable retention mechanism for plankton, for the productivity of fish and other top predators; and for the resilience of the ecosystem. Finally we show how the effects of inter-annual to decadal variations in upwelling on fishery yields can be studied using dynamic simulations with different prey-predator relations. The general conclusion is that the nature of the physical regimes for shelf ecosystems cannot be ignored in comparing end-to-end representations of these food webs.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2011. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Marine Systems 87 (2011): 227-238, doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2011.04.005.
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