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Optimal harvesting in a changing climate

Aline Magdalena Lee*, Bernt-Erik Sæther

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Choosing the right harvesting strategy is crucial for sustainable utilization of biological resources but is challenging in real systems with fluctuating environments. This challenge is expected to become even greater with global warming, as environmental variability is predicted to increase. Additionally, harvesting strategies based on single-species models have been shown to carry a severe risk of species extinctions when species interactions are ignored, particularly in systems with more than one harvested species. As the climate continues to warm, we therefore need new reference points for harvesting in an ecosystem context with environmental fluctuations. In this paper we discuss the development of harvesting strategies and suggest that a proportional threshold harvesting framework could be a useful starting point for developing such reference points and tackling the challenge of sustainable harvesting in the future.