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Regime shifts in marine communities: a complex systems perspective on food web dynamics
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7410-6794
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
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2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 283, no 1825, 20152569Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Species composition and habitats are changing at unprecedented rates in the world's oceans, potentially causing entire food webs to shift to structurally and functionally different regimes. Despite the severity of these regime shifts, elucidating the precise nature of their underlying processes has remained difficult. We address this challenge with a new analytic approach to detect and assess the relative strength of different driving processes in food webs. Our study draws on complexity theory, and integrates the network-centric exponential random graph modelling (ERGM) framework developed within the social sciences with community ecology. In contrast to previous research, this approach makes clear assumptions of direction of causality and accommodates a dynamic perspective on the emergence of food webs. We apply our approach to analysing food webs of the Baltic Sea before and after a previously reported regime shift. Our results show that the dominant food web processes have remained largely the same, although we detect changes in their magnitudes. The results indicate that the reported regime shift may not be a system-wide shift, but instead involve a limited number of species. Our study emphasizes the importance of community-wide analysis on marine regime shifts and introduces a novel approach to examine food webs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 283, no 1825, 20152569
Keyword [en]
regime shift, complex adaptive systems, exponential random graph model, Baltic Sea, food web, motifs
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129281DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2569OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-129281DiVA: diva2:921207
Available from: 2016-04-19 Created: 2016-04-19 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Impact of Multiple Drivers on Marine Systems: Novel approaches for studying structural changes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Impact of Multiple Drivers on Marine Systems: Novel approaches for studying structural changes
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human action is transforming the species composition, biogeochemistry and habitats of the world’s oceans at unprecedented rates. The cumulative effect of natural and anthropogenic drivers is challenging to measure, in part due to indirect effects and the complexity of marine systems. Building on the theory of complex adaptive systems, this thesis aims to increase our understanding of how complex, heterogeneous marine social-ecological systems (SES) may respond to changing conditions. This thesis integrates resilience research with network science and describes change and structural patterns at several SES scales in order to advance our knowledge on the effects of multiple drivers.

Paper I proposes a new, quantitative fish stock collapse definition, that accounts for fish stock dynamics and enables standardization and thus comparability across a large number of commercial fish stocks. Recognizing that substantial ecosystem changes are part of SES dynamics, in Paper II we review marine regime shifts worldwide to specify how co-occurring bundles of drivers are related to degraded ecosystem services for management purposes. A more detailed ecological study on regime shifts was performed in Papers III and IV. Paper III describes the late-1980s central Baltic Sea regime shift based on a food-web model. Paper IV uses a novel structural network analysis approach to detect functional shifts in complex food webs. The results of Paper IV imply that the Baltic Sea regime shift may not be a systemwide shift. Paper V uses a network approach to analyze fishing strategy diversification and social-ecological connectivity among Swedish Baltic Sea fishers, indicating that natural resource management evaluations should not be limited only to ecosystem conditions but also take account of social conditions.

Overall, this thesis provides empirical evidence for the emerging perspective that marine resource science and management must account for the complexity of system elements in order to ensure the provision of ecosystem services in the future. The first application of Exponential Random Graph Modeling in ecology and an improved fish stock collapse definition provide new advanced tools for studying oceans from an SES perspective in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 2016. 60 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129280 (URN)978-91-7649-414-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-03, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-05-11 Created: 2016-04-19 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Yletyinen, JohannaBodin, ÖrjanBlenckner, Thorsten
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