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A simulation platform to assess the effects of trawling on benthic communities

AuthorsMuntadas, Alba ; Ballé-Béganton, Johanna; Lample, Michel; de Juan, Silvia ; Bailly, Denis; Blasco, Dolors ; Demestre, Montserrat
Issue Date29-Nov-2013
CitationIntegrating New Advances in Mediterranean Oceanography and Marine Biology. Meeting program: 44 (2013)
AbstractTrawling effects on benthic communities are complex and difficult to synthesize in a single number as a comprehensible index for all involved stakeholders. Therefore, using the ExtendSim software, we developed a platform with a user-friendly interface that combines a simulation model with existing knowledge and data integration and representation. The simulation is based on a simple conceptual model which assumes that trawling affects benthic communities with an intensity that depends on the level of fishing effort the community is subjected to and on the habitat characteristics (i.e. muddy, sandy or gravel habitats). The platform is organized in four interactive different compartments. The first one explains the general context, the issue, the conceptual model and lists references and links to relevant information. The second compartment is dedicated to the simulation methodology, where the community is represented through the relative abundance of traits, which are known to be vulnerable/resistant to trawling (substrate position, size, feeding method, motility and other attributes). The third compartment shows the epifaunal samples from 18 sites in the Mediterranean that are being used to build the model in different graphical representations. Finally, in the simulation compartment, the user is asked for the model inputs, that is, the existing fishing effort on the area of interest, the level of fishing effort planned to reach and the habitat characteristics. The simulation will produce different graphical representation of the community trait’s structure under each fishing effort (existing and expected). As a future challenge, commercial resource status will be linked to the benthic community status in order for the platform to be used as a management tool for trawling fisheries in an ecosystem approach framework
DescriptionSymposium on Integrating New Advances in Mediterranean Oceanography and Marine Biology, 26-29 November 2013, Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC), Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
Publisher version (URL)http://www.icm.csic.es/bio/medocean/information.htm#schedule
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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