Ecological Network Indicators of Ecosystem Status and Change in the Baltic Sea

Maciej T. Tomczak, Johanna J. Heymans, Johanna Yletyinen, Susa Niiranen, Saskia A. Otto, Thorsten Blenckner

PLoS ONE 8(10), 2013

Regime shifts in marine ecosystems

Several marine ecosystems under anthropogenic pressure have experienced shifts from one ecological state to another, often showing a re-organisation of food-webs as a result.

In the central Baltic Sea, a regime shift has been described for the Baltic Proper in the late 1980s. This regime shift has been associated with food-web reorganization and redirection of energy flow pathways; within and across the trophic levels of zooplankton and fish.

Using food web models and ecological network analysis to replicate Baltic Sea regime shifts

The long-term dynamics seen in the Baltic Proper from 1974 to 2006 have been simulated in this study using a food-web model forced by climate and fishing.

Ecological network analysis was performed to calculate indices of ecosystem change. The model replicated the regime shift.

The analyses of indicators suggested that the system’s resilience was higher prior to 1988 and lower thereafter. The ecosystem topology also changed from a web-like structure to a linearized food-web.

Further reading:

Ecosystem flow dynamics in the Baltic Proper - using a multi-trophic dataset as a basis for food–web modelling

Impact of Climate Change on Fish Population Dynamics in the Baltic Sea: A Dynamical Downscaling Investigation

Analysis of trophic networks and carbon flows in south-eastern Baltic coastal ecosystems

Multiple forces drive the Baltic Sea food web dynamics and its response to environment

Published 7 October
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Web editor: Marmar Nekoro

Updated: 2013-10-18
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