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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Critical points (gray polygons) quantified on a surface of ecosystem response dependent upon fishing and environmental pressures. Image: S. I. Large

Large SI, Fay G, Friedland KD, Link JS


Critical points in ecosystem responses to fishing and environmental pressures


Ecosystem-based management incorporates human, ecological, and environmental factors that influence living resources and evaluates these considerations at the system level. As multiple human uses and environmental pressures influence marine ecosystems, decision criteria for management action must consider the multi-dimensional nature of these pressure–response relationships. Large and colleagues demonstrated a novel application of common statistical techniques that translate ecosystem response into a surface dependent upon multiple pressures. Critical points, or levels of ecosystem response where a small change in multiple pressures results in a large response or abrupt change in ecosystem status are identified. These critical points highlight the need to concurrently consider multiple pressures when delineating ecosystem decision criteria.


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