Title: Bridging the gap between ecosystem modelling tools and geographic information systems: Driving a food web model with external spatial-temporal data
Citation: ECOLOGICAL MODELLING vol. 263 p. 139-151
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC82806
ISSN: 0304-3800
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380013002597
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2013.04.027
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: It is becoming clear that climate change and human activities will have notable impacts on marine ecosystems in the future, but the extent is poorly understood. Research is challenged by the limitations of present-day ecosystem models to address the interrelated spatial dynamics between climate, ocean chemistry, marine food webs, and human systems. The work presented here, the spatial-temporal data framework, is part of a larger study, the NF-UBC Nereus Program, to develop a new approach to model interoperability for closing the gap between marine ecosystem modeling tools via geographic information systems (GIS) technology. The approach we present simplifies interdisciplinary model interoperability by separating technical and scientific challenges into a flexible and modular software approach. To illustrate capabilities of the new framework, we use a remote-sensing derived spatial and temporal time series to drive the primary production in a marine ecosystem Ecopath with Ecosim food web model of the North-Central Adriatic. In general, the predictive capabilities of the food web model to hind-cast ecosystem dynamics are enhanced when applying the new framework by better reflecting observed species population trends and distributions. Results show that changes at the phytoplankton level due to changes in primary production cascade up the pelagic food web. Highly exploited demersal species such as European hake do, however, not show clear signs of cascading. This may be due to the high fishing pressure on this species and the resulting strong historical decline in the area. The development of the new framework is a promising step toward future implementations of a model interoperability framework.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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