A Holistic view of Marine Regime shifts

Conversi, Alessandra, Dakos, Vasilis, Gardmark, Anna, Ling, Scott, Folke, Carl, Mumby, Peter J., Greene, Charles, Edwards, Martin, Blenckner, Thorsten, Casini, Michele, Pershing, Andrew and Mollmann, Christian (2015) A Holistic view of Marine Regime shifts. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370 1659: 1-8. doi:10.1098/rstb.2013.0279

Author Conversi, Alessandra
Dakos, Vasilis
Gardmark, Anna
Ling, Scott
Folke, Carl
Mumby, Peter J.
Greene, Charles
Edwards, Martin
Blenckner, Thorsten
Casini, Michele
Pershing, Andrew
Mollmann, Christian
Title A Holistic view of Marine Regime shifts
Journal name Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2970
Publication date 2015-01-05
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rstb.2013.0279
Open Access Status
Volume 370
Issue 1659
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal Society of London
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Understanding marine regime shifts is important not only for ecology but also for developing marine management that assures the provision of ecosystem services to humanity. While regime shift theory is well developed, there is still no common understanding on drivers, mechanisms and characteristic of abrupt changes in real marine ecosystems. Based on contributions to the present theme issue, we highlight some general issues that need to be overcome for developing a more comprehensive understanding of marine ecosystem regime shifts. We find a great divide between benthic reef and pelagic ocean systems in how regime shift theory is linked to observed abrupt changes. Furthermore, we suggest that the long-lasting discussion on the prevalence of top-down trophic or bottom-up physical drivers in inducing regime shifts may be overcome by taking into consideration the synergistic interactions of multiple stressors, and the special characteristics of different ecosystem types. We present a framework for the holistic investigation of marine regime shifts that considers multiple exogenous drivers that interact with endogenous mechanisms to cause abrupt, catastrophic change. This framework takes into account the time-delayed synergies of these stressors, which erode the resilience of the ecosystem and eventually enable the crossing of ecological thresholds. Finally, considering that increased pressures in the marine environment are predicted by the current climate change assessments, in order to avoid major losses of ecosystem services, we suggest that marine management approaches should incorporate knowledge on environmental thresholds and develop tools that consider regime shift dynamics and characteristics. This grand challenge can only be achieved through a holistic view of marine ecosystem dynamics as evidenced by this theme issue.
Keyword Ecology
Global change
Phase shift
Regime shift
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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