Trade-offs between supportive and provisioning ecosystem services of forage species in marine food webs

  • Essington T
  • Munch S
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Abstract

Ecosystem-based management of natural resources involves an explicit consideration of trade-offs among ecosystem services. In marine fisheries, there is the potential for a trade-off between the supporting role of small pelagic fish and cephalopods in food webs, and the provisioning service they play as a major target of fisheries. Because these species play central roles in food webs by providing a conduit of energy from small prey to upper trophic level predators, we hypothesized that trade-offs between these two ecosystem services could be predicted based on energetic properties of predator–prey linkages and food-web structure. We compiled information from 27 marine food-web models (all within the Ecopath framework) that included either small pelagic fish or cephalopods, described predator–prey linkages involving these species, and developed a novel analytical framework to estimate how changes in yields of forage species would propagate through food webs and other fisheries. Consistent with expectation...

Author-supplied keywords

  • cephalopods
  • ecopath
  • ecosystem services
  • ecosystem-based management
  • fisheries
  • food
  • forage fish
  • marine ecosystems
  • small pelagics
  • trade-offs
  • webs

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Authors

  • Timothy Essington

  • Stephen Munch

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