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A comparison of the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Aleutian Islands large marine ecosystems through food web modeling / by K. Aydin ... [et al.]

By Kerim Yunus Aydin, S Gaichas, I Ortiz, D Kinzey and N Friday


Detailed mass balance food web models were constructed to compare ecosystem characteristics for three Alaska regions: the eastern Bering Sea (EBS), the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), and the Aleutian Islands (AI). This paper documents the methods and data used to construct the models and compares ecosystem structure and indicators across models. The common modeling framework, including biomass pool and fishery definitions, resulted in comparable food webs for the three ecosystems which showed that they all have the same apex predator—the Pacific halibut longline fishery. However, despite the similar methods used to construct the models, the data from each system included in the analysis clearly define differences in food web structure which may be important considerations for fishery management in Alaska ecosystems. The results showed that the EBS ecosystem has a much larger benthic influence in its food web than either the GOA or the AI. Conversely, the AI ecosystem has the strongest pelagic influence in its food web relative to the other two systems. The GOA ecosystem appears balanced between benthic and pelagic pathways, but is notable in having a smaller fisheries catch relative to the other two systems, and a high biomass of fish predators above trophic level (TL) 4, arrowtooth flounder and halibut. The patterns visible in aggregated food webs were confirmed in additional more detailed analyses of biomass and consumption in each ecosystem, using both the single species and whole ecosystem indicators developed here

Topics: ddc:570
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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