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Ecosystem structure and fishing impacts in the NW Mediterranean Sea using a comparative modelling approach

AuthorsCorrales, X. CSIC ORCID; Coll, Marta CSIC ORCID ; Tecchio, Samuele CSIC ORCID; Bellido, José M.; Fernández, Ángel M.; Palomera, Isabel CSIC ORCID
Issue Date17-Nov-2014
Citation2nd International Ocean Research Conference (2014)
AbstractWe developed an Ecopath model to characterize the structure and functioning of the NW Mediterranean Sea, from Toulon to Cape La Nao, in the early 2000. The model included previous areas modeled with the Ecopath approach on the NW Mediterranean (the Gulf of Lions and the Southern Catalan Sea) and expanded their ranges, covering 45547 km2, and including depths from 0 to 1000 m. The study area was chosen to specifically account for the connectivity between the areas and shared fished stocks. Input data were based on local scientific surveys and fishing statistics, published data on stomach content analyses, and the application of empirical equations. The model is composed of 54 functional groups, from primary producers to top predators, and Spanish and French fishing fleets being considered. Results show that the main trophic flows are associated to detritus, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthic invertebrates. Several high trophic level species (such as dolphins, benthopelagic cephalopods, large demersal fishes and large pelagic fishes) and salema fish are identified as key groups within the ecosystem. Results confirm that fishing impact is high and widespread throughout the food-web. Comparing the results with other models available from the Mediterranean Sea highlights the spatial productivity pattern of the basin (higher in the NW basin than SE region). Despite productivity differences, the compared ecosystems shared common features in terms of structure and function such as the important role of detritus, the dominance of the pelagic fraction in term of flows and strong benthic-pelagic coupling
Description2nd International Ocean Research Conference, One planet one ocean, 17-21 November 2014, Barcelona, Spain
Publisher version (URL)http://www.iocunesco-oneplanetoneocean.fnob.org/
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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