Inter-Research > MEPS > v494 > feature  
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp
Changes in the northern North Sea, 1958–2008, plotted in a state space defined by the breeding success of kittiwakes, abundance of copepods Calanus spp., and simulated annual primary production. Image: P. Tett, Photos: R. Gowen (kittiwakes), D. Altin, BioTrix (Calanus spp.)

Tett P, Gowen RJ, Painting SJ, Elliott M, Forster R, Mills DK, Bresnan E, Capuzzo E, Fernandes TF, Foden J, Geider RJ, Gilpin LC, Huxham M, McQuatters-Gollop AL, Malcolm SJ, Saux-Picart S, Platt T, Racault MF, Sathyendranath S, van der Molen J, Wilkinson M


Framework for understanding marine ecosystem health


Tett and co-authors review the disputed concept of ecosystem health and conclude that it can be a useful metaphor, a way to aggregate condition over species and communities, and a holistic assessment that allows investigation of emergent properties such as resilience. Employing the concept can aid the 'ecosystem approach' to the use of marine resources. However, there are no direct methods for measuring marine ecosystem health. The graphic illustrates a proposal to monitor changes in ecosystem state by tracking changes in state space relative to an arbitrary reference condition. Variability, about the long-term trend in the scalar distance travelled from this condition, might be used as a proxy for inverse resilience.


Inter-Research Science Publisher is pleased to make this Feature Article openly available for viewing by our readers.


Abstract   Back to contents page   Link to full PDF