Steering feedbacks toward healthier marine ecosystems
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Marine ecosystem decline is accelerating. At some point degradation may pass a tipping point beyond which ecosystems become trapped in alternative degraded states, as a result of changes in critical feedbacks. Self-reinforcing feedbacks pose a major challenge for managers and policy-makers seeking remedial actions to curb the marine crisis. Here we synthesize the dynamics of critical feedbacks of the degraded states in five socio-economically important marine ecosystems; coral reefs, kelp forests, seagrass beds, shallow unvegetated soft-bottom habitats, and coastal pelagic food webs. A better understanding of the way human actions influence the strength and direction of feedbacks, how different feedbacks interact and at what scales they operate, is crucial for successful implementation of marine ecosystem management. We advocate a critical-feedback management approach that ventures beyond traditionally discipline boundaries, as an essential element of marine ecosystem management.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34306OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-34306DiVA: diva2:284517