Marine ecosystem management: an ode to odum uri icon

abstract

  • Following a description of selected key features of marine ecosystems, simulations based on trophic ecosystems models of the Western Central Pacific Ocean and of the Northern Gulf of Mexico shelf are used to explore potential effects on food webs of major increases in top predator biomass. This results in changes in ecosystem structures that are in surprisingly close agreement with E.P. Odum's theory of ecosystem development towards mature ecosystems, particularly regarding features associated with retention and recycling of detritus. The theory thus supported has a number of corollaries relevant to sustainable ecosystem management. Based on the simulations and Odum's theory we propose a functional definition of carrying capacity, and we discuss the need for ecosystem management. The importance of no-take reserves scaled so that their top predators and hence prey species can approach carrying capacity is stressed

publication date

  • 2008