Presentation Abstract

Cumulative effects assessments are increasingly required for resource management, marine spatial planning, and ecosystem-based management. A key step in a cumulative effects assessment is to determine the vulnerability of ecosystem components to stressors, which can be achieved through a vulnerability assessment. However, not all studies define vulnerability in the same way, which can lead to variable and incompatible results. For example, while many cumulative impact mapping studies use expert-derived scoring based on the variables of spatial scale, frequency, trophic impact, percentage change, and recovery time (e.g., Teck et al 2010), others, such as DFO’s Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (O et al 2015), use area, depth, temporal extent, intensity, frequency, acute change, chronic change, and recovery. In order to evaluate whether assessment outcomes vary based on the vulnerability criteria used, we synthesized vulnerability assessments, and compared rankings to examine commonalities and differences. We then explored how the definition and calculation of vulnerability and the goal of the assessment may have affected the rankings of habitats, species, and stressors. This comparison of vulnerability definitions and ranking across different assessments will advance the understanding of cumulative effects and the management of the risk of stressors, and inform our work to create a vulnerability matrix specifically for Canada’s coasts. The refinement of vulnerability assessments will be a key component in future cumulative effects assessments.

Session Title

Track: Governance, Management & Funding – Posters

Conference Track

Governance, Management & Funding

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_3894

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

A comparison of the vulnerability of marine ecosystems to anthropogenic stressors

Cumulative effects assessments are increasingly required for resource management, marine spatial planning, and ecosystem-based management. A key step in a cumulative effects assessment is to determine the vulnerability of ecosystem components to stressors, which can be achieved through a vulnerability assessment. However, not all studies define vulnerability in the same way, which can lead to variable and incompatible results. For example, while many cumulative impact mapping studies use expert-derived scoring based on the variables of spatial scale, frequency, trophic impact, percentage change, and recovery time (e.g., Teck et al 2010), others, such as DFO’s Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (O et al 2015), use area, depth, temporal extent, intensity, frequency, acute change, chronic change, and recovery. In order to evaluate whether assessment outcomes vary based on the vulnerability criteria used, we synthesized vulnerability assessments, and compared rankings to examine commonalities and differences. We then explored how the definition and calculation of vulnerability and the goal of the assessment may have affected the rankings of habitats, species, and stressors. This comparison of vulnerability definitions and ranking across different assessments will advance the understanding of cumulative effects and the management of the risk of stressors, and inform our work to create a vulnerability matrix specifically for Canada’s coasts. The refinement of vulnerability assessments will be a key component in future cumulative effects assessments.