Presentation Abstract

Ecosystems are complex, dynamic networks of interacting physical, chemical, biological and social components. A stressor such as eutrophication thus can cause responses throughout the system via direct and indirect pathways and feedbacks. Ecosystem models are typically designed to account for as many critical components, functions and pathways as possible in order to reasonably simulate how a system may respond to a stressor; however, many aspects of ecosystem structure and function are poorly studied and too data-poor to represent in a quantitative, mechanistic model. Qualitative network models (QNMs) assume comparably simple (i.e., positive or negative) relationships between interacting components, and allow users to quickly assess potential impacts of stressors or management actions on both data-rich and data-poor aspects of a system. Here, we adapt a previously published QNM of Puget Sound to assess how eutrophication at different scales of space, time and system complexity might affect key species at all trophic levels as well as ecosystem services and human wellbeing. The outcomes of QNM simulations can be compared to other types of models for support and validation, and should be regarded as hypotheses that guide future quantitative studies and decision making in Puget Sound.

Session Title

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Understanding Eutrophication and Over-enrichment of Nutrients in Puget Sound and Effects on Marine Species

Keywords

Food web, Puget Sound, ecosystem-based management, social-ecological system, ecosystem modeling

Conference Track

SSE16: Long-Term Monitoring of Salish Sea Ecosystems

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE16-328

Start Date

6-4-2018 9:45 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 10:00 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 9:45 AM Apr 6th, 10:00 AM

Simulating eutrophication effects in Puget Sound using qualitative network models

Ecosystems are complex, dynamic networks of interacting physical, chemical, biological and social components. A stressor such as eutrophication thus can cause responses throughout the system via direct and indirect pathways and feedbacks. Ecosystem models are typically designed to account for as many critical components, functions and pathways as possible in order to reasonably simulate how a system may respond to a stressor; however, many aspects of ecosystem structure and function are poorly studied and too data-poor to represent in a quantitative, mechanistic model. Qualitative network models (QNMs) assume comparably simple (i.e., positive or negative) relationships between interacting components, and allow users to quickly assess potential impacts of stressors or management actions on both data-rich and data-poor aspects of a system. Here, we adapt a previously published QNM of Puget Sound to assess how eutrophication at different scales of space, time and system complexity might affect key species at all trophic levels as well as ecosystem services and human wellbeing. The outcomes of QNM simulations can be compared to other types of models for support and validation, and should be regarded as hypotheses that guide future quantitative studies and decision making in Puget Sound.