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Identification of the main processes underlying ecosystem functioning in the Eastern English Channel, with a focus on flatfish species, as revealed through the application of the Atlantis end-to-end model
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-19, 08:30 authored by Girardin, R, Elizabeth FultonElizabeth Fulton, Lehuta, S, Rolland, M, Thebaud, O, Travers-Trolet, M, Vermard, Y, Marchal, P
The ecosystem model Atlantis was used to investigate the key dynamics and processes that structure the Eastern English Channel ecosystem, with a particular focus on two commercial flatfish species, sole (Solea solea) and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa). This complex model was parameterized with data collected from diverse sources (a literature review, survey data, as well as landings and stock assessment information) and tuned so both simulated biomass and catch fit 2002–2011 observations. Here, the outputs are mainly presented for the two focus species and for some other vertebrates found to be important in the trophic network. The calibration process revealed the importance of coastal areas in the Eastern English Channel and of nutrient inputs from estuaries: a lack of river nutrients decreases the productivity of nursery grounds and adversely affects the production of sole and plaice. The role of discards in the trophic network is also highlighted. While sole and plaice did not have a strong influence on the trophic network of vertebrates, they are important predators for benthic invertebrates and compete for food with crustaceans, whiting (Merlangius merlangus) and other demersal fish. We also found that two key species, cod (Gadus morhua) and whiting, thoroughly structured the Eastern English Channel trophic network.
Publication titleEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
PublisherAcademic Press Ltd Elsevier Science Ltd
Place of publication24-28 Oval Rd, London, England, Nw1 7Dx
Rights statementCopyright 2016 Elsevier Ltd.