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Two takes on the ecosystem impacts of climate change and fishing: comparing a size-based and a species-based ecosystem model in the central North Pacific

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 09:36 authored by Woodworth-Jefcoats, PA, Polovina, JJ, Howell, EA, Julia BlanchardJulia Blanchard
We compare two ecosystem model projections of 21st century climate change and fishing impacts in the central North Pacific. Both a species-based and a size-based ecosystem modeling approach are examined. While both models project a decline in biomass across all sizes in response to climate change and a decline in large fish biomass in response to increased fishing mortality, the models vary significantly in their handling of climate and fishing scenarios. For example, based on the same climate forcing the species-based model projects a 15% decline in catch by the end of the century while the size-based model projects a 30% decline. Disparities in the models’ output highlight the limitations of each approach by showing the influence model structure can have on model output. The aspects of bottom-up change to which each model is most sensitive appear linked to model structure, as does the propagation of inter-annual variability through the food web and the relative impact of combined top-down and bottom-up change. Incorporating integrated size- and species-based ecosystem modeling approaches into future ensemble studies may help separate the influence of model structure from robust projections of ecosystem change.


Publication title

Progress in Oceanography




Part B






Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Ecosystem adaptation to climate change

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    University Of Tasmania