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Integrating the provision of ecosystem services and trawl fisheries for the management of the marine environment

AuthorsMuntadas, Alba ; de Juan, Silvia ; Demestre, Montserrat
KeywordsEcosystem function
Ecosystem service providers
Integrated management
Benthic community
Issue DateFeb-2015
CitationScience of the Total Environment 506-507: 594-603 (2015)
AbstractThe species interaction and their biological traits (BT) determine the function of benthic communities and, hence, the delivery of ecosystem services. Therefore, disturbance of benthic communities by trawling may compromise ecosystem service delivery, including fisheries' catches. In this work, we explore 1) the impact of trawling activities on benthic functional components (after the BTA approach) and 2) how trawling impact may affect the ecosystem services delivered by benthic communities. To this aim, we assessed the provision of ecosystem services by adopting the concept of Ecosystem Service Providers (ESP), i.e. ecological units that perform ecosystem functions that will ultimately deliver ecosystem services. We studied thirteen sites subjected to different levels of fishing effort in the Mediterranean. From a range of environmental variables included in the study, we found ESPs to be mainly affected by fishing effort and grain size. Our results suggested that habitat type has significant effects on the distribution of ESPs and this natural variability influences ESP response to trawling at a specific site. In order to summarize the complex relationships between human uses, ecosystem components and the demand for ecosystem services in trawling grounds, we adapted a DPSIR (Drivers-Pressures-State Change-Impact-Response) framework to the study area, emphasizing the role of society as Drivers of change and actors demanding management Responses. This integrative framework aims to inform managers about the interactions between all the elements involved in the management of trawling grounds, highlighting the need for an integrated approach in order to ensure ecosystem service provision. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Description10 pages, 4 figures, 5 tables
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.11.042
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.11.042
issn: 0048-9697
e-issn: 1879-1026
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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